The Auditorium Theatre transformed into a magical fantasyland over the weekend with the opening night of The Nutcracker. The Joffrey members were no longer dancers, but giant rats and life-size dolls instead.
Seeing The Nutracker is one of my favorite holiday traditions, but
this was my first time seeing it performed by Joffrey. Growing up I went
to see it with my mom in Pittsburgh (shout out to Pittsburgh Ballet
Theater!), preceded by tea at a fancy hotel.
Yumelia Garcia was a very strong Sugar Plum Fairy. Her arabesque
holds en pointe were magnificent, and she and Mauro Villanueva were
a great pair. But I couldn't help but want more of another dancer. I
wanted more Jaiani.
Victoria Jaiani was the epitome of elegance and grace as the Snow
Queen. It was by far my favorite part of the whole show. She was icy but
fluid (in the most beautiful ballerina way), and then transformed
amazingly into an Arabian goddess for the "Coffee from Arabia" duet. She
seduced the audience with curves and sensuality, and amazed them with
her un-human flexibility. You could hear the silence of the shocked
audience members when she slowly touched her shin to her forehead.
The Coffee from Arabia duet was always one of my favorites, but Jaiani
made it brilliant.
Aside from the leading ladies, the entire company put on a strong
show. The opening scene was the epitome of a Christmas party, and the
set design was just the right amount of elaborate. Uncle
Drosselmeyer was creepy enchanting as usual, but his glittery outbursts made me laugh. How magical these things seemed when I was younger!
The only dull moment I had was during the Waltz of the Flowers as
they ran on the stage, off the stage, on the stage, off the...you get
it. We all get it. Let's move on.
Overall a stunning rendition of a holiday classic. I wouldn't mind watching it on repeat until Christmas day. Bravo!
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