The Nutcracker, Twisted!
The Nutcracker written by E.T.A. Hoffman is the most performed ballet in the world. It was first performed in 1892. The critics did not like it nor did the audience. It was first performed in the United States in 1944 in San Francisco. It was redone in 1954 with new choreography by George Balachine. This version was liked by both critics and the audience. What we see today is some version of Balachine's Nutcracker. Every year during the Christmas season you can expect to see some version of the Nutcracker performed by different Ballet Companies as well as the local Dance Centers.
The Nutcracker, Twisted!
Stafford Dance Center in Stafford, Virginia put on a wonderful variation of the Nutcracker on December 17, 2011 at Mountain View High School also in Stafford, Virginia. Every year Stafford Dance performs the Nutcracker Twisted. Yes, Twisted. The Twisted part includes some twist to the familiar story we all know as the Nutcracker. Each year it is different and range from including parts of Toy Story to parts of Mortal Combat within the Nutcracker story. This year included a Mortal Combat twist.
Clara and her Nutcracker Prince begin their travels through the snowy forest and through the Land of Sweets. They are met by all sorts of interesting characters along the way. Latin and Arabian Dancers performed along with characters such as Mother Ginger and her Candy Canes, The Mirliton and her apprentices and sheep, Bon Bons and Twizzlers, the Bells, Morning Mist and Dew Drops, and the Sugar Plum Fairy guided the two on their journey. Clara finally falls asleep under the tree alongside her Nutcracker to have more sweet dreams.
The story begins with the mysterious Drosselmeyer inspecting his new Mortal Combat toy pieces before going to the Schmidt's Christmas party. The show then switches to the Christmas Eve party at the Schmidt residence. Uncle Drosselmeyer shows up and begins to hand out toys to all the children. He gives the adults a demonstration of his new Mortal Combat toys as well. Clara Schmidt receives a nutcracker from her uncle. Her brother Fritz takes it from Clara and breaks it. Uncle Drosselmeyer magically fixes it and returns it to Clara.
The guests leave and Clara falls asleep with her Nutcracker in her arms. At the stroke of midnight crazy things start to happen. She wakes up to see the Rat King and mice fighting with the Nutcracker. She eventually saves her Nutcracker and it then turns into a Prince. I will have to say that the mice in this production were the cutest little mice I have ever seen. They came on stage shaking their little mice tales at the audience and you could not help but laugh. A scene is inserted to include the two Mortal Combat characters fighting with dancers behind their fighting. It was definitely a change to the normal story but a wonderful addition from the response of the audience.
A Great Performance
This production of the Nutcracker was one of the best I have seen in years. All of the performers were dressed in very elaborate costumes and makeup to ensure their personalities shined through to the audience. Including the smallest little performers. All dance numbers were performed to perfection and if their were any mistakes these seasoned performers sure knew how to make up for it. The twisted part was included into the production at the right moments as to give a seamless finish to the show. The older performers seemed to take the younger ones under their wings from back stage to on stage. They helped the younger ones with their costumes, make up, and nervous jitters. It was wonderful to see such a team effort. Congratulations to Stafford Dance Center and all the performers for such a wonderful performance. We look forward to next year's Twist.
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