The Nutcracker

Yesterday, I went to see my daughter perform in The Nutcracker.  The past few years I have brought her to watch The Nutcracker, but this year she got to be onstage.  She was a reindeer, a trumpet playing angel and a bon-bon.  Technically she wasn’t the star of the show, but why get hung up on technicalities?

It’s amazing how differently than usual I watched the production.  The first time I brought my daughter to see it, I was nervous.  I was afraid she might be bored or it might be too long for her.  After that first time, though, it’s been smooth sailing.  We go, we sit together, I listen to the music, she watches the dancers and she dances along in her seat.

This time was different.  There were the obvious differences, like the fact that we didn’t sit together.  But the performance itself felt different.  Instead of most of my attention being on the music, I was very aware of all the dancers onstage.  I didn’t want to miss a second of my daughter’s performance.  I had always thought of the dancing part of a ballet as secondary.  The story is tertiary.  The music is primary.  This time, the dancing came first, the music second and the story third.  It was like I was watching a different show.

It’s kind of amazing what actual dancers can do.  They are really strong, flexible and agile.  I know that seems obvious, but this was the first time I’d really paid attention to it.  I must be growing.  Now I can actually see why dance is its own art form.  And this was just a local dance company.  I’m super curious to see what the major companies can do.

Of course my daughter stole the show.  When she was onstage, everyone else could have been tripping and falling all over each other for all I know.  She looked like she was positively thrilled to be onstage.  It was a smashing success.  I can’t wait for next year.


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