I like community in whatever form it takes. And the Lake Cities Ballet Theatre’s annual presentation of The Nutcracker is one of those things that makes it cool to live in our area.
First of all, it’s been around 15 years. It packs the house at the local high school’s auditorium. Twice.
Secondly, it actually has the community’s volunteer orchestra playing the score. At most community productions, it’s done by CD. But this one has a full-blown live orchestra and they’re pretty good. Sure, the mayor said last night that he’d put them up against any orchestra anywhere in the world, but you can’t blame a mayor for hyperbole. I’d put ’em up against any city of comparable size in Texas, however.
Thirdly, they have these big-shot dancers from New York to dance the respective leads. I’m no expert, but it’s pretty darn impressive to watch them do their thing. There’s also one local dancer that seems to be a cut above, too. But the dancers from the professional companies in NY entered to serious applause by the patrons…and got a standing ovation that the crowd MEANT, too.
Fourth, it’s pretty cool for our young people to get a shot to be on stage in a serious production. Dads and moms of the conservatory dancers play roles in the opening party scene and it shows how good something can be when local folks get in on the act and take it seriously. One odd thing was that the local high school wouldn’t let them use dry ice or smoke machines this year (after several years of allowing both) which used to enhance the pretty good sets. The company poked fun at it by having a flag come out after the cannon shot during the battle scene which read “insert smoke here.”
Fifth, it’s pretty nifty to see the kids my daughter has grown up with “progess” to various roles. They all started at cherubs and moved to angels then bakers then party girls and now they’re involved in more demanding parts. It’s also cool to see the parents of the younger ones going through what we went through: Hours of involvement to see two minutes of your child on stage–and having your chest burst with a mixture of nervousness and pride watching those two minutes.
Finally, watching my daughter Shelby erase my nervousness is amazing. She’s very good at what she does and takes it very seriously and works very hard. And it pays off, too. Her “junior company” is demanding, but when you watch them now it’s with more of a “let’s see how good they’ve gotten” instead of the “I hope they don’t trip” you said when they were little.
But, there was one soldier during the battle scene and one polichinelle at Mother Ginger’s entrance that stole the show and made the rest of the cast around her better. Everyone in attendance could see that, even if they weren’t her father.
So, Shelby, thanks again for another great performance. Even if I don’t really “get” ballet, I know a good show when I see it…and it was certainly a good show. I’m so proud of you that my chest might burst just thinking about it. You rock my whole face off infinity-plus-one times.