Nutcracker

The girls were in their ballet school’s production of The Nutcracker, which was this past Saturday.  We  spent a lot of last week at the theatre for tech and dress rehearsals, but it was worth it.  I think they really grew from the experience.  Not only did they have to learn their dance, but they also learned to follow the director and to listen for their parts to be called. They learned to wait patiently (and quietly!) while the rest of the dancers worked on their parts.  They got to be a small but important part of a bigger production, which I think is good for helping them mature and relate to others.

We had a very busy week of tech rehearsals, which were every day from 5pm until 9pm. Even though it made for several long nights, it was very exciting!

Very excited

Mama and her little Polichinelle

My mom came in to see the performance and got to get a sneak peek at dress rehearsal.

Nana arrives for dress rehearsal

They got to see the older girls rehearse and sat in on the tech notes from their director, Miss Virginia. (S7 is in the center, wearing a black leo and waving her arm.)

Getting notes from the director

After the final tech rehearsal, there was a big cast photo shoot.

Cast photo

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The girls were Polichinelles and came out from underneath Mother Ginger’s skirt. Here they are with Mother Ginger, going over some last minute details.

Powwow with Mother Ginger

On the day of the show, we headed to the theater. S7 is holding a toy nutcracker that she received in her advent calendar.

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Backstage was a little crazy. The Polichinelles had to stay in a small corner of the dressing area.

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At one point, the Mouse King herself came in to give them a little pep talk.

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For the most part, the girls were pretty unruffled.

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Finally, it was time to get into costume

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and get warmed up!

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Meanwhile, out in the audience, all the grandparents and me and DH were waiting excitedly to see our little dancers.

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The show itself had two acts. It started out with a Christmas party, with the mysterious Professor Drosselmeyer and his dancing life-sized dolls making a fantastical appearance. Drosselmeyer gave Clara a nutcracker doll, but her brother, Fritz, accidentally broke it. She had to leave the nutcracker downstairs when she went to bed. The real story began when Clara crept downstairs to sleep next to her broken toy. We saw her dreams, which involved the Nutcracker coming to life and slaying a Mouse King. Afterwards, they were whisked to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and all the sweets and toys danced for Clara and her Prince.

The end of the first act was a beautiful dance of the snowflakes. It was breathtaking. I’m so glad the kids got to see this in dress rehearsal- they were mesmerized.

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S7 and O5 came on stage in the second act. First they were introduced to Clara and Fritz with the rest of the magical creatures.

Polichinelles are introduced

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Then there were all the famous dances: the Arabian, Chinese and Russian; the Flowers; the Sugar Plum Fairy and Candy Canes.

Dance of the Flowers

Finally, our little Polichinelles came out on stage. They were delightful.

S7 on stage

Honest.

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What a great show! DH and Grandpa gave them flowers to celebrate.

Flowers for the dancers

Then we did one better: we went for MILKSHAKES.

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Tasty milkshake

A little crazy

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