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Cassidy Fields

20 December 2018

Outside Dance Critique

For my dance critic, I saw Greensboro Ballet’s version of “The Nutcracker” On Saturday,

December the 16th at 2pm. The show was held in the Carolina Theatre and it was almost a sold

out show. I had seen the “The Nutcracker” plenty of times before this performance so I was

trying to keep as open of a mind as possible. My expectations were high due to seeing the

performance literally every other year since I began high school at Weaver, and I knew going

into the show that it had been great years before. “The Nutcracker” has been a Christmas

tradition since debuting in 1892, at Moscow’s Imperial Theatre in Russia.

As the curtain rose, it was a unique use of a scrim. It appeared to be a backdrop of a house,

but when the dancers were lit behind it you could see the inside, which was very interesting

because it gave a sort of omniscient point of view. As the Nutcracker opened with the party

scene, we were first introduced to Clara who is a very beautiful and technically proficient dancer.

As Clara and her family were setting up for the party, it was cute seeing all the different families

enter the scene from different sides of the theatre. There was some comedic relief in there which

made the audience feel more at home. Although the dancers are all well trained, some of the

younger dancers had issues with their placement, such as turn out and closing into fifth position.

They weren’t the only ones who had problems, you could catch some of the older girls not

pointing their feet in leaps most especially those wearing pointe shoes. Over-all the acting in this

scene set the stage apart from all of the other scenes. However out of all the years I have seen

“The Nutcracker” this party scene was the most boring.

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The battle scene which can often come off “cheesy” was one of my favorites. Although the

young mice were quite adorable, I thought they needed more choreography. It felt like all they

did was run around from place to place and then run off stage to never be seen again except later

when the king dies. The only costumes I didn’t like in the whole show were the older mice;

because the heads were so large they looked like Chuck-E-Cheese characters which I have said

they need to change since my freshman year. During the fight scene, the choreography was clean

and both the men seemed technically proficient. Overall I liked the scene but needed more

rehearsal and different costumes.

My favorite and most beautiful, breathtaking scene would still have to be the snow scene. The

costuming, backdrop, and constantly falling snow set the scene perfectly and just was so pleasing

to the eye. Also the crystal soloists (Including Phoebe Meadows who is my favorite person of all

time) were so clean and kind of saved the show for me. It still amazes me how they do such fast

turns when there is snow on the stage and there is snow falling, simply stunning. I felt the one

thing as a group they could improve upon would be timing and spacing. The Snow Queen was

very strong in technique and had very lovely legs, yet she simply did not have the persona of

Snow Queen like I was expecting. The partnering was quite impressive also. Out of all of the

scenes, this one is still my favorite, four years later.

Overall I enjoyed Greensboro Ballet’s version of “The Nutcracker” I feel the choreographers

did an extraordinary job of telling the story. The use of guest artists helped to provide additional

difficulty to the pieces, and a professional quality of movement. I hope to see Greensboro

Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” again next year.

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