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Culture shock

Last night Elaine, Mary, Joey, and I saw The Nutcracker at the Samba Theatre in the Rio. The ballet was performed by the Nevada Ballet Theatre with a host of Nutcracker children (from their dance school), accompanied by members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

It was a dazzler. Terrific dancers, costumes, sets - the sets were composed mainly of painted screens that descended from the ceiling seamlessly, one into another, and lighting effects - patterns on the floor and wall at times. There were therefore no breaks for scene changes.

The orchestra was wonderful, rich, alive. It was such a treat to see these professional dancers and professional musicians in this delightfully-staged presentation, ending with a sleigh carrying off Clara and Fritz up up and away...into the sky. Shades of Santa, perhaps, but appropriate in this case.

I just knew there was something like culture in this city. I knew it.

The awareness of the audience, though, perhaps a different thing. Mary overheard at least three people during the intermission say, "It's good but I'm having trouble following it".

The program offers a decent synopsis, and lists the scenes as well. It's not really a complicated story.

We sat in the Sao Paolo Cafe afterward, surrounded by many little groups containing little girls in velvet dresses, and had a full meal. All that following worked up our appetites.

Joey did well, for his age. He talked a lot, asked a lot of questions, but it didn't seem like he was truly disruptive in that large theatre, in the cheap seats in the balcony. ("Cheap", of course, is a relative term.) There were many children of different ages, and occasionally I would hear a comment ring out from some distant part of the theatre and know that Joey wasn't the only one talking.

Now I want to see this ballet company again, preferably doing a modern ballet. And the symphony, which I've been wanting to hear for some time. We'll try to schedule these things for future visits.

Now it's Christmas Eve! I have places to go, people to meet.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 24th, 2003 07:28 am (UTC)
"It's good but I'm having trouble following it".
wow - it's not like it's rocket science, it's the nutcracker ferchrissakes! did they not grow up with it like we did???

sounds like you're having a great holiday - merry christmas to you & your family judith! *smile*
Dec. 24th, 2003 09:07 am (UTC)
Re: "It's good but I'm having trouble following it".
That's about what mary said. It's not some complicated multiplotted opera, for heaven't sake.

Apparently many people didn't grow up with it, unfortunately. My two girls did, and I hope Joey will now, too. He said he liked it.

I remember the first time I brought my daughters to see it, when they were little (but not as young as Joey). I worried that they might be put off by the lack of words,by having to follow it through the dances. Not at all. They just loved it, ate it up. Now they are interested in the classes the ballet company offers, both for themselves and for Joey.

Merry Christmas Eve, Priscilla!! Love the icon!!

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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