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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Chasse Away

Nutcracker Season!

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Chasse Away

Just wondering if anyone else here participates in a Nutcracker, I participate in my local schools with the teens. It's like 80% high school students but the other 20% is made up of a few of us who are in university or have graduated is high school. It's nice having these girls to remind me I'm not "too old" for this, I love to dance and oppurtinties to preform are few and far between! Besides I find the difference in maturity to be virtually unnoticeable, a few things come up that remind me of catty high school drama (like when I'm reminded by co-dancers that the cheap plastic tiaras are for the snow corps and the other cheap plastic tiaras that are slightly nicer are for the snow soloists) but overall I would say it's pretty chill!

 

So what's everyone's Nutcracker expirience, how are the other dancers? How do you deal with teenage drama (if it comes up)? 

 

Also what's everyone cast as? I myself seemed to be cast in rose waltz, snow, and the party scene (my favourite because I can be the 1800s wine mom I've always wanted to be). I'm also doing Spanish, it's a pas de deux and my partener is like 6 years younger then me, he doesn't have to lift me but there is a little partenering, I feel bad that I'm like a full grown adult😭

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Andy32

I was invited to participate in Nutcracker at my studio, but unfortunately my wife really didn't want me to do it. Having a husband take ballet embarrasses her, so the compromise is that I can do classes but no performance. I would have likely been a party parent and maybe been in some other scenes that need guys. Anyway, hope that situation changes so I can do something like this in the future. I really want to learn longer choreography and just the chance to be part of a performance. In the meantime I'm just focusing on doing as many classes as I can and try to keep getting better.

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Chasse Away

That's so sad Andy, I'm sorry your wife has such a closed minded and silly view on the arts and gender. Can you imagine if she didn't want you playing piano or something  else because it embarrassed her because in her narrow mind it seemed like a feminine art? I'm not a marriage counsellor but maybe you can talk to her about how her control on your hobbies and her toxic mindset on gender? Ballet, by design, is an are for both females and males (and anyone else) so I'm not sure why should would even be embarrassed, or even why it is seen as a feminine art? Even if you were "not so good" (I'm not saying you are, just that it could be a reason why she might be embarrassed) I would still hope she would support you in doing something you love! I'm to young to be married but isn't marrige about support? 

 

Ballet is a performance art so I wish you luck in finding performances in the future! 

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arciedee

I dance with a company that has a large focus on adult dancers and we do the Nutcracker every year. It is largely cast with children, of course, but I've gotten to do a lot of roles over the years: maid, party parent, snowflake, Hot Chocolate, Tea, and flowers. While I am a bit tired of the show at this point, I can't deny that it's given me a lot of opportunities to grow as a dancer and performer. The hard part is that we don't get to progress through the roles like the kids do; we kind of joke about the audition since we pretty much get the same thing year after year. But it is great to watch the children grow through the roles and every so often a piece will get reworked or the director will decide to go in a different direction and there will be a surprise in the adult casting. It keeps us on our toes, to be sure!

 

Andy32, I do hope you get a chance to perform at some point. It really is a thrill and men are always needed! Your wife may also be a bit hesitant about performance for reasons beyond embarrassment. There are additional time requirements of rehearsals; Nutcracker can be particularly tricky since the rehearsals are really intense at a time of year when there are a lot of parties and get-togethers. She might also be nervous that your roles may involve partnering. It can be hard for some people (men or women) to watch their real-life partner act as a partner to some other person on stage, even if they understand rationally that they're just playing a part. If she hasn't ever danced -- and it sounds like she hasn't -- it can be even harder to understand that aspect of dance. Maybe you two can go to watch the performance this year. Introduce her to some of your dance friends. Hopefully she'll be willing to explore your world a little bit and see that the reality might be quite different from her preconceived notion of what ballet is all about. Good luck!

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Chasse Away

How many shows to you do arcidee? Do you preform one role per show, or one solo per show and all the corps work every show? I'm also curious about your company, is it an amateur company? How many adults are there and what kind of roles do they do? Also, what do the maids dance in your show, I've never seen a Nutcracker with maids?

 

I totally understand the part about not being able to progress. I am too tall to ever be cast as a waltz or snow soloist (the other soloists are always 5'5" ish and I would stick our like a sore thumb), let alone as Princess Clara or SPF. I like Spanish and Arabian but they are basically the only options I'll ever get, and they aren't en pointe. 

 

Anyways, I guess what is important is that we get an oppurtintiy to dance. Good luck with your show!

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Andy32

Yeah, I know my wife isn't crazy about seeing me partner someone else - she specifically said so when we were watching Dancing w/the Stars. Years ago I took her to Nutcracker, and she didn't like it at all. Thought the men's parts were just meaningless prancing around in tights, so that's her impression of it. I thought of taking her to see another ballet, but worried it might backfire and reinforce her opposition to it. She took class once as a tall, awkward pre-teen (amongst younger kids), and didn't like it, but given that situation you can't really blame her. Another studio where I take class might have an adult performance piece next spring (they did jazz this year), so they might let me do rehearsals and not perform. That's half the reason I want to do it, really - learn longer combinations and rehearse them to a point where you actually can perform them well. Among her family and friends, I think they would be super-shocked at first to hear I study ballet, but I think most of them eventually would think it was cool and support it. Anyway, we'll see if things turn around at some point.

Anyway, interesting thread - always interested to hear from other adults who get to perform.

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