Friday, December 19, 2014

The Nutcracker

     We hurry into the theater along with others in their Christmas finery, young girls in sequins and velvet dresses, ribbons in their hair, dancing slippers. Mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, Aunts and nieces and friends.

                                                                                 
   We settle into our seats, close enough that we can see the orchestra nestled into their hiding place in front of the stage. A beautiful cacophony drifts upward out of the pit as they prepare to tune their instruments, a sound that is like laughter. The lights dim, the overture begins, the curtain opens and the magic commences. They might as well have sprinkled us all with fairy-dust (which, in fact they do in this particular version).
         Once more we are transported into the warm glow of Clara's living room for the family Christmas festivities; presents, kisses, dancing, drums and dolls.  The children fight over a wooden doll and a girl dreams dreams of another world, a world where snowflakes and flowers are real and where sweets come to life and dance for her and the Nutcracker Prince.

     
      Ah, the Nutcracker, a beautiful winter tradition. The Arabian coffee is limber as a string, Gingerbread boys scurry out from under the huge skirt of their mother, the Sugarplum Fairy, she who watches over all the land of sweets, dances with her consort, elegant, beautiful, he lifts her as if she were light as a feather.


       This year we brought Aunt Audra along with us, as well as Jingleboy. Tracie and her friend joined us as always.  In fact, it is thanks to Tracie that we get such fabulous seats every year. She is one of Abbey's and our oldest friends and one of the most loyal. Thanks, Trace.
      Here we are, waiting for the lights to signal us it is time to go in.
     

       Every year I think I have seen this ballet enough times to last a life time, but once the music begins I am entranced once more.  The ballet is better than a book, better than a movie, because it is music and movement weaving a magical spell; the heart of the composer and the hearts of the dancers wide open and singing a love song together.

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