Monday, April 16, 2012

The Nutcracker Critique

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at the Magnificent Fox.

Have you ever taken the chance to see a classical ballet? Well, indulge yourself in one of the holiday seasons most treasured and adored performances, Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker. The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the book called "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" written by E.T.A. Hoffman. In 1891, the legendary choreographer Marius Petipa commissioned Tchaikovsky to write the music for the Nutcracker Ballet. I went to see the Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta GA just before Christmas. The atmosphere was perfect to go on a date for this festive play. This is my personal critique on my experience for Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at the Magnificent Fox.
The Nutcracker story is of a girl with dreams of finding a prince from a transformed nutcracker who eventually escorts her to a land filled with conflict, tragedy, and celebration. Although the visuals were presented very clearly, I found the story rather hard to follow. Without any dialogue, the audience has to rely on the performance by the talent to express every emotion. This may have been why it was difficult to keep up with the story of the ballet. While  the story may have been slightly vague,  I found the dancers and the different stage set ups to be absolutely marvelous .
The performances in the ballet were very well choreographed and kept me entertained. Whether it was a small child or an old woman, each character played their role very well. During intense scenes, none of the dancers or actors lost their composer that would have ruined the audience’s perception on the ballet. The actors and dancers also knew their boundaries on the stage itself. They would know just how far to go to give the audience suspense and without putting themselves in harm. The actors in costume were one the biggest aspects to making the ballet believable. I personally know it must have been difficult to see out of the costumes and yet all of them performed with flawless execution.  And if performance was not enough, during the snow scene, they add had simulated snow actually fall onto the audience up front. Now even this made me feel like a little kid again because of how mesmerized I was in this spectacular.
The design of the set was the establishing setting for the audience and also what made the ballet better to understand. Designed to resemble a village in the 1800s, the set really helped me to imagine and believe the characters on stage. The lights played a role in setting some of the moods that were depicted in some scenes. For example  the Rat King made an entrance in a dark gloomy setting. Finally, to add to the overall design, the orchestra performed at peak performance with classics such as the Nutcracker March and the Sugar Plum Dance.
In my conclusion, the legendary Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky is great ballet to take someone on a date or just some festive fun for the whole family. The story may be a little difficult to understand but the performance do more than make up for this divergence. The Fox theatre is Atlanta Georgia’s most beautiful marvels that everyone must experience. Take the time to enjoy a classical play or ballet and I guarantee it will give a better appreciation for theatre.

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