Wednesday, October 14, 2020

A year without the Nutcracker?

Pointe Magazine has an article entitled Imagining a Year Without "Nutcracker"

Not having ever danced on stage, I've always viewed this ballet as a season tradition. But I know there are folk who absolutely dread the annual performances of "The Nutcracker". It's like going to the dentist: it's something you hate even though you know you're going to do it anyway. Likely it's a big part of your company's fund-raising for the year.

How do you view this ballet? Love it? Hate it?

Welcome to Groundhog Day #216, where every day is a repeat of the one before it.

I haven't been in a real ballet class since February, or a virtual class since June. I haven't gone this long between classes since I started taking classes again over nine years ago. I really need to start back up, but I'm dreading the aches that I know will result.

Apparently my subconscious agrees. The other night I found myself standing with my left foot sur le cou-de-pied, perfectly balanced on my right en pointe. This was obviously a dream, because I've never done pointe work and lack the foot flexibility to do so. But unlike most dreams, this image has lingered.

My favored school has restarted in-person adult classes, but I'm not comfortable with taking an in-studio class. I think there are way too many people in this country who are not taking the pandemic seriously. I had to go to my office earlier this month for three hours, and a week later I was notified that someone who was in a nearby office tested positive for the virus. A few months ago someone who worked in the office with a coworker died of COVID-19. He was just one of over 216 thousand who have died in the US alone, one of over a million deaths worldwide, with more to come.

So I guess I'll have to sign up for another virtual class soon.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Reese! This is Christina again. Until the pandemic began, I was a regular in Julie's and Susan's Beginner II classes.

    To answer your question, I've always loved the Nutcracker. I grew up watching the TV version starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland. I still enjoy that version but have since learned that it is not a "traditional" Nutcracker. For instance, Clara is not supposed to dance en pointe, there is not supposed to be a love story between her and the Prince, and she is not supposed to take over the Sugar Plum Fairy's role in the second half. For more about how to tell if your Nutcracker is traditional, check out this article.

    I think MYB's and the Washington Ballet's versions are more traditional. Speaking of which, I heard that MYB is going to some sort of virtual Nutcracker this year.

    If you take a virtual class at MYB again, make sure to report back as to how it went! I would be interested to hear if they have changed their format for the virtual classes since they began holding limited, in-person classes. I haven't taken an in-person or virtual class since March. I miss ballet but wasn't getting much out of the virtual classes and like you, wouldn't feel comfortable going in person until the pandemic is completely behind us.

    Please take care, and continue to stay safe and healthy!


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