I went to see The Washington Ballet's Nutcracker last night. And I discovered I have a problem with it.
Maki Onuki did a piece that was just amazing. She hit and held every position with precision. She didn't fall out of a single one, and made it look effortless. It was a demonstration of balance and control many of other dancers in the company have yet to achieve.
Yet the audience seemed unappreciative. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, as the show of hands in response to Septime Weber's question before the performance indicated that about half had never seen a ballet before. I have to assume they have no idea how hard it is to hold something like an attitude derrière en pointe unsupported for even a brief moment. And she did that and many others repeatedly with nary a bobble.
If I'm going to find a bright side, it must be that this increases my appreciation of the parents of the kids in my regular studio who take the time to attend one of the 5-week "Introduction to Ballet" classes. They look so awkward and may never take another class, but they've made an effort to understand what their kids are doing and how hard it is to make it look so simple.