Once Thanksgiving is over, you know what comes next, right? Yes, The Nutcracker!
Ballet San Antonio is not letting us have even one day to just lazy around and digest all the food that we probably shouldn’t have eaten in the first place. Its series of nine Nutcracker performances starts Friday Nov, 25 and wraps up with an afternoon show Dec.4. It’s a new production choreographed by artistic director Willy Shives, “after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov,” with additional choreography for the snow scene and the Waltz of the Flowers by Gerald Arpino, the late Joffrey Ballet co-founder and artistic director.
In case you are wondering, Petipa and Ivanov are the original creators of the ballet which originated in Imperial Russia more than a century ago. The show has become such a holiday tradition across North America that few choreographers dare tamper too much with the basic style and presentation of the iconic story.
Since Shives likes to give many dancers a chance to shine, the main roles are cast accordingly, with different lead dancers throughout the run. And from what I could gather, Clara will be danced by professional ballerinas, not a young ballet student. This has the advantage of giving the girl at the center of the tale more of a presence as a dancer but it may be a bit less authentic in terms of story and character. Opening night, Clara will be portrayed by the accomplished Kate Maxted, while the big dancing roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavaliers are assigned to Kathleen Martin and Mayim Stiller, both very personable performers.
Over 100 children from area ballet schools will join the stage action, as will a few celebrities who have agreed to appear as Mother Ginger in Act II. Two who have been already announced are former Spurs player Bruce Bowen (Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m.) and KSAT12 Good Morning San Antonio meteorologist Mike Osterhage on Dec.2 (7:30 p.m. show). The gorgeous Tchaikovsky music that we all know and love will be performed live by the San Antonio Symphony.
For tickets, ranging from $29 to $119, go to www.tobincenter.org or call 219-223-8624. You can also purchase them in person at the Tobin Center’s box office, 100 Auditorium Circle, 78205.
Photos by Alexander Devora/Ballet San Antonio