Miami City Ballet returns to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. It’s a pleasure to expertise the magic of The Nutcracker once more after the cancellation of final 12 months’s performances as a result of outbreak of the pandemic.
Balanchine’s Nutcracker has change into a vacation favourite since its debut with the New York Metropolis Ballet in 1954.
Miami Metropolis Ballet has carried out Balanchine’s Nutcracker for over twenty years now. In 2017, Lourdes Lopez, inventive director of Miami Metropolis Ballet, unveiled a Nutcracker with new units and costumes by Cuban- American inventive couple Isabel and Ruben Toledo. The adjustments replicate Miami’s tropical surroundings with sherbet infused colours. The Toledo’s units and costumes look as recent and as vibrant as they did in 2017.
The viewers attending final Saturday’s matinee efficiency was stuffed with little women wearing an array of colourful tulle skirts and glowing sneakers. Their outfits have been overshadowed by their excessive spirits and enthusiasm. After intermission, it was a pleasure to observe them return to their seats hugging packages containing nutcracker dolls.
Amongst one of many adjustments made to the Nutcracker in 2017 was the addition of projections by Wendall Okay. Harrington throughout Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker overture. Harrington pictures are of a city lined in snow, setting the stage for the inside of the Stahlbaum home the place friends are arriving for a Christmas celebration.
Miami Metropolis Ballet – ‘George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker’. Picture by Alexander Iziliaev
A number of the toys entertaining the celebration friends are Columbine (Ella Titus) and Harlequin (Alex Manning). Wearing brightly coloured costumes, they gave spirited performances as did Shimon Ito because the toy soldier. His efficiency was exact and sharp particularly within the toy soldier’s signature stance.
As at all times, the transformations which happen in Act 1 have been stirring. The expansion of the Christmas tree ( accompanied by a few of Tchaikovsky’s most stunning music ) was a surprise to behold. “It’s all within the tree,” Balanchine reportedly mentioned.
Act II opened on a tropical-themed Land of Sweets with the surroundings consisting of palm bushes, sweets and a welcoming pineapple crown. Hannah Fischer because the Sugarplum Fairy was enchanting. The Angels, danced by youngsters carrying masks, held miniature Christmas bushes as they glided throughout the stage in serene magnificence.
The Marzipan Shepardesses wore tutus in pink and aqua which highlighted the Miami themed surroundings. Mom Ginger and her Polichinelles have been a favourite of the kids within the viewers. Her outsized aqua skirt lifted to disclose youngsters in pink and blue who delighted the viewers with their antics. The Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier ( Cameron Catazaro ) gave a formidable efficiency of their pas de deux and particular person solos.
Miami Metropolis Ballet’s rendition of Balanchine’s Nutcracker retains his iconic choreography whereas creating a robust sense of place. Miami doesn’t have the temperatures that are normally linked to this time of 12 months, however the Miami Metropolis Ballet has added sunshine to a Christmas favourite.