Tonight, I realized a goal I set for myself a couple of months ago. Some friends took me to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. It should be understood that I grew up watching the movie. I always loved the sets and costumes, and the fact that they played much closer to the actual story than many companies.
I enjoyed myself tonight recognizing costumes and parts of dances, or in one case, the entire dance. I was a bit sad to see certain elements that I enjoyed in the movie gone, like Drosselmeyer’s nature, but I had a wonderful time.
The highlight of the evening, and if it had been appropriate to do a standing ovation I’d have done it, was during what PNB calls the Commedia, otherwise know as Marzipan, the Shepherdesses, or the Reed Flutes. The male dancer, Lucien Postelwaite, had his hat and mask accidentally knocked from his face during the dance. He looked at the audience, shrugged as if it had been intentional, and continued on with his performance. The next time he was close enough, he kicked it as close to the wings as he could, and never missed a beat. Drosselmeyer had to remove it casually during the Toy Theater(Polichinelles) dance. I was so completely impressed. I think I’ve become too used to seeing performances where something like that causes the rest of the dance to become a jumbled mess as the dancer attempts to get their costume back together and get back into the dance, but Postelwaite showed complete professionalism. It was fabulous. I was so completely impressed.
It’s one thing to get to see a company’s performance taped. It is quite another to get to see it up close and realize those Waltz of the Flowers costumes are really as fabulous as they looked in the taped performance.