Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Nutcracker

As I child, I read A Very Young Dancer many times. The book was part of a series by photographer Jill Krementz. Each one followed a ten-year-old girl* who was outstanding in something like dance, gymnastics, horseback riding, etc. The star of A Very Young Dancer was a ballet student here in New York, and she played the part of Marie in the New York City Ballet's Nutcracker.

I've seen The Nutcracker performed several times, but never with Balanchine's choreography, and, of course, never in New York - until tonight.

What fascinated me was how little the production has changed during my lifetime - the book is as old as I am. Of course, the costumes aren't the same ones worn all those years ago, but many of them still look very much the same, and the sets are nearly identical. As far as I can tell, the hallway is precisely the same, down to the reflection in the mirrors. Perhaps it is still the same set. The continuity is eerily exaggerated by the fact that boys haircuts have come around full circle to what was being worn in the mid-1970s.

It was a very deja vu experience. A good show, of course, but knowing it doesn't get updated means I won't be in a hurry to see it again.

*A Very Young Circus Flyer followed a boy.

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