Some holiday events are so beloved that they start as an idea and stay long enough to become a multi-generational tradition. Such is the legacy of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker. This year the Joffrey Ballet ends its 28 year run of Robert Joffrey’s original choreography.
What made Robert Joffrey’s version of The Nutcracker so unique was the setting. Instead of a traditional European Christmas celebration, Joffrey transported the story to a 19th Century American home. He added toys from his own childhood to the story of Dr. Drosselmeyer, Clara, the Mouse King, the Snow King and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
“The Joffrey Nutcracker maintains the classical purity of Robert Joffrey’s original choreography while sparkling with elegant costumes, an extravagant set by Oliver Smith and a giant Mother Ginger puppet by Kermit Love. Joffrey Ballet Co-Founder Gerald Arpino contributed to Robert Joffrey’s version, having choreographed the Land of the Snow scene, which closes Act I, and the Waltz of the Flowers in Act II,” according to a release from the ballet company.
When you arrive at the Auditorium Theatre, you see generations waiting in the lobby. There are grandmothers with granddaughters in party dresses and grandsons in dress pants waiting for their first performance, standing near parents with teenagers who have seen the show in years past. There are young couples creating their own holiday memories with retired couples continuing holiday traditions. It’s a wonderful mix of people sharing a holiday outing.
This year’s show seems especially beautiful. As we watched the dancers, we tried to imprint their movements to our memories so we could compare the traditional choreography with next year’s new performances. When this run ends on December 27, the company will retire the original choreography.
Whether you have seen The Nutcracker dozens of times or you are new to the holiday favorite, be sure to see it this year. Some treasures are meant to be savored one last time. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Ticketmaster or call 1-800-982-2787.
Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun. Image courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet.
Disclosure: I did attend opening night using media passes. My words and opinions are my own.
Category: Shari's Corner