Before we had kids, I talked Wes into going with me to the Nutcracker ballet in downtown Chicago. Even though he followed the program closely, he still didn't "get" how the dances flowed one into another and he was still waiting for certain dances to be performed when the ballet was over...poor guy! Later, we went to the show as a young family and John really hated that we made him go as a part of his cultural enlightenment process...and he tells us, to this day, that he'll never go again. I believe that Jed thanked Anne this year for not making him go, either....what is it with our guys that they avoid this like the flu when we girls love this ballet? Hmmm...
Here is the program flyer telling the story of the Nutcracker.
Once Anne was in high school, she became a part of the local Nutcracker ensemble as a caroller. This musical theatre group dressed in Dickens-type costumes and sang before the ballet performance. Here Anne is pictured as the "Mom" of the group in the top left hand corner.
Even though we have gone to the performances for over ten years in a row (except for the year that Anne was abroad in Sweden), I still get the chills when the curtain opens and the whole ensemble is dancing around the Christmas tree to the music of Peter Tchaikovsky. Those naughty boys with their swords and the adorable girls with their tightly curled hair and colorful, lacy satin party dresses. The spunky nannies. I love the dance of the snowflake girls and the snow falling from above, and especially the grace of the The Snow Queen and the Snow Prince. Of the Act III "Kingdom of the Sweets", I am most mesmerized by the Arabian and Russian dances. And the cuteness of the little angels as they patter in patterns with their candle lamps without bumping into each other!
Finally, the curtain call with all the performers present...another fun memory with Anne. It's been another special time together! We'll be back again next year!