A breath taking and spectacular performance, The Nutcracker's opening night was a success and swept both adult and children's hearts away. The red carpet unrolled and a cinnamon spiced sparkling wine was served to all guests. The ambiance at the Wilfrid-Pelletier theater was the definition of the excitement and joy that comes with Christmas and holidays festivities.
I have seen the classic Christmas piece before, once when I was little and as an adult about ten years ago with a friend and I remember being amazed as well. However, I must admit that as a 33 year old taking classical ballet courses, I have a renewed appreciation for the performance I saw last Friday.
The Dazzling Dancers
The story begins in the olden days as everyone gathers to celebrate Christmas as one big family. From young children to older adults, dancers from all ages filled the stage and had their roles nailed down perfectly. Keep in mind that classical ballet does not have dialogue. The dancers' facial expressions, gestures and overall movements combined with the music is what speaks to the audience to tell the story. Well they told their story very well and throughout the performance, the audience understood perfectly well and answered with laughter and applause. Lots of applause.
Indeed, as the Nutcracker ballet piece evolved, the pirouettes, grand jettés and fouettés increased in their intensity and the surprises were endless! The snowflakes dancing and prancing including Renata Commisso, the three crazy cooks making us laugh, the beautiful Spaniards with Sahra Maira and the hilarious jumping black sheep of the Maszipan Shepherd. I held my breath a few times and let myself get carried away by the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy Vanesa G.R. Montoya and her Cavalier Raphaël Bouchard. Truly, all dancers owned their roles and plunged us into the charismatic Nutcracking world!
The Masterful Musicians
Flawless. Just flawless. I cannot event begin to describe the orchestra's perfection. Every instrument responding to the conductor's demands in support to the dancers' movements. They mastered every single piece and gave our ears what they were longing to hear. Grandiose was The Walts of The Flowers, precise and mischievous was The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and I can go on...All timed to the second. Shivers ran through my spine a few times as I took in the music and dance all at once. Without the musicians, that are hiding so well beneath the stage you would think it was a recording playing, the show obviously would not be the same. They ignite the dancers and make the story come to life. The hours not to say months of rehearsal truly showed that night. The acts flowed seamlessly as the audience indulged each and every one of them.
Decor, Lighting and Costumes
Though all Montrealers are rejoicing with the mild weather we are getting this December, some of us do enjoy the occasional snowfall especially during the Holiday season. With that in mind, I really appreciated the mesmerizing snow-globe effect the stage greeted us with as we took our seats. We were entering the era of The Nutcracker the moment the doors opened. The lighting and staging were very well thought out and were nothing short of master pieces. I absolutely loved the Christmas tree and the enchanting Kingdom of Sweets!
The costumes - WOW! The ladies and the gentlemen's dresses and suits really took us to the era. The rats really looked like rats and the sheep were adorable. We feasted on a wide variety of colour pallettes: The frosty lavender blue of the snowflakes, the orange, red and golden coloured outfits of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier sparkled through the night and the creamy white of Clara's night gown which reminded us that we were indeed dreaming... ;)
If you haven't seen The Nutcracker, need I say more? Get your tickets! and if you have seen it and have time to take the kids or want a different idea for quality time? Go see it again. It will plunge you into the holiday spirit and will pull out the child in your heart.
Sending special thanks to Alena J. who ensured that guests were well taken care of and who also looked after her fellow dancers.
Bee Nutcrackin' for Christmas!
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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