Last night I was captured by the Moscow Ballet. I was not prepared for it; it took me completely off guard. It was so quick, so effortless, so quiet that I never knew what hit me. I was whisked away to Russia with my daughter and then transported to another time and place. My captors were beautiful and elegant and so light on their feet that they appeared to be floating. When I was released I was both exhilarated and sad…and am looking forward to being captured again!
Ok, so I was not really captured by the Moscow Ballet but it sure felt like it…in the most beautiful ways possible. I was invited by the Ballet and US Family Guide to attend their San Diego performance of The Nutcracker and I was unprepared for how much I would truly love it. I had never seen the ballet before but was familiar with the story to some degree and have always enjoyed the music. In preparation my daughter and I rented a couple books from the library and watched several videos online. I now believe that nothing really prepares you for your first Nutcracker Ballet.
From the moment we sat down I was in the ballerinas’ trance. I know that must sound really hokey but I promise you it is the truth. The costumes were beautiful, the dancing seemed effortless, the movements weightless, and the music was divine. As I watched the dancers leap, twirl, jump, spin, glide, and float I was thinking of nothing other than being right there in the story. During the Stahlbaums’ party I was a guest in the background, during the battle between soldiers and the mice I was quietly cheering for the soldiers to defeat those pesky mice, and in the Snow Forest I imagined my little girl dancing about like a tiny snowflake. I think the Snow Forest was my favorite part followed very very closely by the Grand Pas de Deux.
At intermission I noticed a tall beautifully decorated tree at the bottom of the stairs…perfect place to take a picture of my sweet girl. As I was getting my girl set up for a picture a nice man asked if I would like him to take ours together. He snapped a few, I said thank you, and took a few of just my daughter. He asked her if she liked the show, what her favorite part was, and if she was having a good time. I noticed he had a walkie talkie and asked if he was with the ballet. As fate would have it this nice man was the Tour Manager, Lonnie. I was so excited to be able to tell someone from the Moscow Ballet in person thank you for bringing us to the show! There are a number of perks of being a blogger and while emailed thank yous are always nice it is so rare to actually be able to tell someone in person how much you appreciate what they have done for you. It really made my heart happy to be able to thank him personally.
The second half of the Nutcracker was lovely. The Dove of Peace was spectacular. Two dancers danced so closely and precisely that at times it was nearly impossible to tell they were not connected. Amazing.
The next few acts were so much fun! There were Chinese dancers, Arabian, French, Russian, and Spanish variations. The giant puppet bull during the Spanish Variation was really funny. My man sitting next to me told his wife, “That bull is a ham.” I thought that was really funny.
The Waltz of the Flowers was ethereal. Of course I loved the pink outfits.
The Grand Pas de Deux between Masha & the Nutcracker Prince was powerful and elegant. Watching the ballerina dance on her tippy tippy toes across the stage was magical.
I do want to call special attention to the children in the cast. They were wonderful! During intermission my sweet girl was spinning and twirling all over place declaring she was a ballerina just like the little girls. The West Coast Children’s Cast is hosted by Neisha’s Dance & Music Academy down in Chula Vista. Miss Neisha, your kids did a great job!
Oh I want to go back! Now I know why this is a holiday tradition for so many. This was such a special experience for my daughter and I to share together and am so grateful to the Moscow Ballet and USFG for this opportunity. During my “captivity” I did not check my phone, I was not thinking about blog posts, emails, to do lists, what I need to pack for our trip, bills that need to be paid, or contacting the post office (which I just remembered I didn’t do!). All I thought about was how beautiful the performances were, how much I enjoyed the music, and how grateful I was that my 4.5 year old little love was sitting next to me and taking it all in.
If you have the chance please see this performance. You too will not mind one bit being captured by the Moscow Ballet Nutcracker.
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