Carolina Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Photos in this post are by Chris Walt Photography and Armes Photography

This afternoon we headed into Chapel Hill to see the Carolina Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker!

The Nutcracker - Marin Boieru and company in Nutcracker, Chris Walt Photography

I’ve seen the Nutcracker a handful of times before, but this was the first time I’ve seen it where the children were played by actual children instead of just small adults. I liked it, because it added some extra whimsy. In addition to Clara, the Nutcracker, and the party children, they also had child dancers playing mice, gingerbread men, and soldiers, along with a few other roles. I loved it. Was every single child dancer at the professional level? No, but the leads were very good dancers, and all of them gave solid performances.

The Nutcracker, Carolina Ballet 2014
Courtesy: Carolina Ballet

In the program it mentioned there being “magic” in the show. Reading that I said to myself “okay yeah the Nutcracker is *magical* got it”. What the program actually meant was that we would be treated to a mini magic show courtesy of Herr Drosselmeyer. I like to think I’m pretty savvy at figuring out how magic tricks are done. But not here. They had people popping out of boxes that I swear had no way of being there. It was a very cool element to add to the show.

While the battle with the Mouse King scared me as a child, here they had the Mouse King die dramatically and comically in a way that made it a little less like nightmare fuel for kids. Although the creepy Mouse King might have been something I remember from The Nutcracker Prince movie, rather than an actual production of the ballet.

Tell me he isn’t creepy. Plus he comes back from the supposed dead and destroys the Land of Sweets? I think? It has been a very long time since I have watched this movie.

I love when we start heading into the Land of Sweets. It’s *magical*. I don’t have a picture, but we started the second act of the ballet with truffles. Which were small children in enormous costumes. It was hilarious and great. Just kidding, the memory was too good not to do a little more searching and I found a picture after all:

PC: Melissa Key at the Daily Tarheel

Aren’t they amazing? And this picture doesn’t even capture the funny way their costumes looked when they moved around.

We went to a matinee performance so there were lots of little children there. The Nutcracker is a great ballet for kids because the story is pretty easy to follow and there are a lot of fun costumes and dances. All the kids in the audience were dressed up – I saw a little boy in a bow tie, and lots of little girls in party dresses with big hair bows. It was adorable.

Very fun and very Christmasy!

Stay magical readers!

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