Some friends of ours take lessons at a local ballet school. One that does the Nutcracker every year. Monkey and I read the story, and then we went to their production.
First things first. This was the first time Monkey had sat on this style of chairs, so it was a good thing that there were just a few extra minutes left when we got to the auditorium. He had a good time checking the wiggle in his seat.
The show started and Drosselmeyer sketched the basics of what was going on at the beginning of the story. This was the only spoken part in the whole production. When it was finished, the scene opened on the party at Clara's house. During the party, Drosselmeyer brought out his wonderful dolls to delight the crowd. My friend A. is the one with the big bow in her hair and the cute tutu-looking dress.
I didn't find out until several days later that A.'s Dad was the jester that was part of this group of toys, so I didn't end up with any pictures of him. After a demonstration of the wonderful toys, it was time to put them away. A.'s exit was most entertaining!
Clara, of course, loves the Nutcracker. Her brother, being a pesty little brother, takes it and breaks it.
Next we saw the March of the Toy Soldiers, and the big battle with the Mouse King. This was, I think, Monkey's favorite part. He really got into the sword fighting! I was charmed by the "Mouselings" that were trying to help save their King. They were so cute!
Mouse King vanquished, Nutcracker freed from the enchantment, I realized that I was starting to run low on batteries as Clara and the Prince go on their fairytale adventure with the Sugarplum Fairy. But I did get some pictures from the second half of the show.
One fun part was the Dance of the Sugarcane. A.'s younger sister, C. (center, with glasses), was in this one, as a "twirlygig," and she looked like she was having a wonderful time!
Then, it was on to the exotic destinations. Chinese Tea, Arabian Coffee, and Russian Trepak. I was particularly impressed with the Russian dancers, because they were so athletic, but they were hard to do justice to in the pictures, and the more so because these dances were all somewhat short.
Mama Gingerbread was just too funny; all those little kids in her skirt! If you look closely, she's also got a gingerbread baby up top there.
The Waltz of the Flowers was particularly fun - they had little kid dragonflies buzzing around, and some adorable Baby Bumble Bees that I didn't get pictures of.
It was a good time! When Monkey saw me working on this post, I had to stop and show him all the pictures I had up 2 or 3 times, and they made him smile. I'm thinking it was a successful outing! That's the nice thing about student performances: it's OK to take your student audience. And this one was a lot of fun.