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Elizabeth Lloyd 1

Outside Dance Critique: The Nutcracker

Over my christmas break, I saw Artistic Motion’s production of “The Nutcracker.” Since

“The Nutcracker” is one of my favorite ballets, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience watching the

show. The overall quality of movement executed by the dancers was excellent. Many elements of

different movement qualities were presented during the ballet. In the Spanish duet, the dancers

maintained a high level of energy throughout the piece and focused their energy on specific

accents based on musical cues. One problem with this dance was the synchronization of the two

dancers. Rather than paying more attention to each other for timing, they acted as two soloists

instead of working together in a duet piece. In the Arabian pas de deux, the two dancers worked

together beautifully while accomplishing difficult lifts and partnering. The female dancer held

her core the whole time and kept herself on balance and upright, but I would have enjoyed it

more if the dancers paid more attention to the downtempo of the music and let it direct their

movements. I think the female dancer needed to approach this pas with a different perspective

and tried to manipulate the ballet steps with contemporary aspects. The technique of the corps

was very good and was visible in the Waltz of the Snowflakes and the Waltz of the Flowers.

Both pieces presented the dancers’ ability to work together and keep time with each other. The

movement was very light and seemingly effortless. Throughout the entire performance the

dancers used their emotions to present the storyline as well as the mood of each scene. The show

was very captivating and kept me interested throughout.

“The Nutcracker” was first performed in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

Another work from the late 1800s was Tchaikovsky’s second ballet: “The Sleeping Beauty.”

Both ballets feature numerous lead female roles as main characters and the use of different

pancake tutus and pointe shoes. They incorporate elements from the Romantic and Classical
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periods of ballet through story lines and emotional portrayal introduced in the 1800s. Ballets like

“The Nutcracker” have the intent of conveying messages to the audience created by the

choreographer. The choreographer’s intent was to make people happy through showing a story

filled with christmas spirit. After leaving the theatre where I saw “The Nutcracker,” my spirit

had been lifted and I was super excited for christmas to arrive. Overall, the production was

fantastic. The Artistic Motion Dance Company wowed me with their incredible professionalism

and amazing technique in such young dancers.