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“The Nutcracker” was held in Macky Auditorium Nov. 24 to Nov. 26 and will also be performed on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3. The show, produced by Boulder Ballet, held a matinee performance Nov. 26 that was filled with families wanting to get into the holiday season with a classic show.
“The Nutcracker” is a story of a young girl’s dream when she falls asleep on Christmas Eve. She sees her godfather as a magician who produces dolls that grow to be life-size and dance. The girl receives a nutcracker doll from him and as midnight strikes, mice begin to dance.
“This was (my child’s) first time seeing ‘The Nutcracker,’” audience member Anne Koening said. “This is the first time I’ve been here too. It was great. I really liked it.”
The stage was filled with a cast of over 80 dancers. Choreographed by Ana Claire and Peter Davidson, the ballet had dances suitable and enjoyable for children. Hand movements, facial expressions and bold steps were crucial substitutes for the ballet’s lack of dialogue and to keep the attention of the large number of children it attracts.
“It’s perfect for the kids because a lot of the audience is family and they make some things funny and put some things in specifically for the kids,” Koeing said.
Tutus and masks put the dancers into character while the sets of a Christmas party, a snow-covered forest and the land of sweets were designed to sparkle and bring the scenes to life.
“What was cool was toward the beginning when they were dancing around with the clock numerals. I don’t remember that from the last time I saw it,” audience member Vanessa Barcus said. “I thought the Russian dancers were really good.”
Special effects such as fire, canyon shots and fog made the audience “ooh” and “ahh.” The Boulder Ballet also used magic tricks and unicyclists, which added an eye-popping spectacle to their show. But for one audience member it was the ballet’s music that caught her attention.
“I liked the music a lot,” audience member Janet Helmer said.
The music for “The Nutcracker” was played by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra’s conductor, Michael Butterman, has had his work featured in five nationwide broadcasts on NPR’s “Performance Today,” according to the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra.
Helmer also enjoyed the changes made in the show since the last time she saw it 10 years ago.
“It changes a little bit every time,” Helmer said. “The part that was different from the last time I saw it was the scene of the battle. This one wasn’t very scary and the last time I saw it, (it) was very scary. They probably calmed it down some so the kids didn’t get too freaked out, so that was interesting.”
Boulder Ballet is also performing “Without Borders,” “Storybook Ballet,” “Springtime in Paris,” “BB2 – Junior Company” and “Sunday in the Park” for its 2006-07 season. For more information on the Boulder Ballet, call (303) 443-0028.