Scenes From A Nutcracker

Both of this season’s Nutcrackers are now behind me.

I’ve seen Lexington Ballet’s rather impressive video (link: Lexington Ballet: Nutcracker Reimagined), though FSB’s doesn’t come out ’til the 24th.

Concerns about the out-of-control COVID-19 infection rate scuttled FSB’s live performance (I was fine with that—Nutcracker is fun, but nobody needs to catch COVID-19 over it) and forced some last-minute cast chances, so we didn’t get to do the full Grand Pas after all.

I missed my OG Sugarplum, who is a delightful partner, but she’s at very high risk for COVID complications. I would rather that she remain healthy and whole so we can dance another day.

My Cavalier variation felt … less than great? But perhaps not terrible.

Or, rather, I was deeply disappointed, but everyone else seemed to like it.

I blended a couple of versions to suit the tiny stage, and for some reason during the actual recording my legs seemed iffy about the concept of brisée-volée. It worked fine the rest of the time -.-

I’m not satisfied with that on the grounds that, by definition, as a professional dancer, your worst day still has to be good enough for the people who’ve paid to watch you dance.

This wasn’t my finest hour, though it could’ve been worse. I’m hoping that I did a sufficiently convincing job faking it through the rough spots.

And then, a year ago, I couldn’t even really do brisèe-volée.

Making weird faces doesn’t really help, in case you’re wondering. (PC: Shawchyi Deng Vorisek)

My friend Dot understudied Sugarplum, so we threw together a Coda literally at the last minute. It was fun, and I didn’t actually run into any scenery doing the tiniest tombé-coupé-jeté manège in the history of the world (though I got carried away and *almost* did).

I somehow manage to look about 12 and about 68 at the same time in this pic? But it’s still a rather good pic. PS: I created the gold headband thing from about $0.25 worth of wired ribbon and thread bc my hair would NOT stay out of my eyes. PC: Rae Smith, iirc

In Nutcracker Prince territory, things were a little smoother because I’d somehow managed to have more actual rehearsal. (Y’all, I cannot really explain how I managed to get so little studio time for my variation. But there we have it. Rehearse it til you can’t get it wrong, or you WILL get it wrong.)

Battle Scene was the best-rehearsed part of the whole ballet (I mean, not counting the Grand Pas with my OG Sugarplum), and it was both fun and probably not too shabby. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

It had a ton of sword-fighting:

Mouse Queen (Traci Jo Smith Dixon), Drosselmeyer (Bart Liguori), and Nutcracker Prince bring the DRAMA.
Tombé-chassée-POP! I’m proud of myself for remembering to flex my foot on these jumps.
Chaos reigns! Also, I was very surprised that those boot tops actually made it onto my legs, but they do look pretty good 🤔
O heck! Bamboozled! (I don’t know if I missed the musical cue and never made it to elevé, or if this is right before the elevé. But this should really be a first-position elevé.) PC for these four: I still have to look it up; I’ll update ASAP 😅

I choreographed most of a rather nice Snow Pas on our Clara and myself, though scheduling conflicts meant we wound up kind of semi ad-libbing the last 45 seconds or so 😅 Next year we’ll have existing choreography to work from (assuming I’m still in Kentucky next year).

Given that she has zero partnering experience, our Clara picked things up quite well. (PC: Same as Battle Scene. I think.)

This rather nice little jump was also in there somewhere:

I only know it’s from Snow Pas and not Battle Scene because I’m not holding a sword 🤣

Anyway, as my first guest performance with two principal rôles in a full(ish)-length ballet, it was … Reasonable?

I think?

I guess I won’t really know until I actually see the video.

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Neuro-atypical. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2020/12/17, in #dancerlife, balllet, performances, repertoire, work and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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