‘Tis the Season for Holiday ballet! Colorado Ballet puts on an amazing production of The Nutcracker every year, and this year was no exception. From a giant, floating Christmas tree to a creepy, dancing Mother Ginger to the most beautiful Dance of the Snowflakes, this year’s Nutcracker had it all and then some.
Without fail, Colorado Ballet always has the best backdrops and sets. This year, they really outdid themselves with a Christmas tree that appears normal during the party scene, just decadent and large, and then ascends slowly to the ceiling and grows during the opening of the dream sequence with the rats. All throughout the show, the amazing props and backdrops gave the show a classic, authentic feel.
The dancing was immaculate, with stellar performances from the Sugarplum Fairy and the Snowflakes. There was also plenty of comic relief; the giant figure of Mother Ginger towered over everyone but danced comically. Between the uncanny appearance of her creepy mask and the contrast of her giant head with taut, ballet legs and her goofy dancing, she momentarily stole the show.
There was really nothing to complain about with this performance, aside from the subtle imperialist attitudes that were a part of the original narrative. Although the dancing and music are beautiful and the costumes are immaculate, the racial stereotypes from the initial ballet are still acted out during this scene. It would be really cool to see a ballet come up with a way to still do this beautiful number, but get rid of the outmoded tropes. While at the time of the ballet’s writing, the concept of celebrating every culture’s contributions was probably forward-thinking, it comes off as stereotyping in 2017.
All things considered, this was a stunning production of The Nutcracker. If you haven’t seen it yet, grab tickets and check it out over the Holiday weekend. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, it’s a great way to get into the spirit of this time of year and feel the warm and fuzzies.
Cover and inline images by Mike Watson, courtesy of Colorado Ballet