Ahh Nuts

Hi All

Very Busy October, Gaspar (Pirate Ballet) Launch, Rock Ballet in Charleston, WV, New Phantom Ballet, Studio Showing for BalletFleming at the end of the month.

Just to make things more interesting my Girlfriend and I found a wonderful house for rent 5 blocks away and moved to a new place with only two weeks notice starting November 1st. Amazing how much stuff a person can accumulate in ten years in an apartment ( I will write more on this in coming weeks)

 

Meanwhile I thought I would get into the Holiday Spirit. No not Halloween (America’s 2nd biggest holiday, go figure) or Thanksgiving or even the December Holidays. No I thought I would discuss that Insane November/December and yes some times January American Holiday Tradition, The Nutcracker.

 

In the 1960’s and 1970’s America slowly became addicted to Fast Food. It was convenient cheap and easy to come by. By the 1980’s and 1990’s there were hundred’s of thousands of these kinds of places basically selling the same thing.

Only now are we discovering that it was not necessarily the best thing for us.

 

I think we can track Nutcracker’s history in the same manner. And it is not the best thing for the Art Form either.

 

Large medium and small professional Ballet Companies waste enormous amounts of time on it, because it of course makes money.  In medium and smaller companies the dancers will perform Nutcracker more than any other more worthwhile productions.

Lets pretend for a moment that those Companies are restaurants. Do those customers come back to the restaurant when you offer wonderful standard fare or even worse do they come back if you change up the menu with some exotic or fusion foods, probably not.

 

Then below this are the thousand or so schools in the United States that put up productions of “The Nutcracker” that are nothing more than glorified recitals.

Understand that most of them do a great job and the productions are very well rehearsed and presented.

Then there are many that are not. Training suffers, students expect roles (talent or hard work is not an issue here) large fees are charged for everything and auditions are now held in June. If you are at one of these schools please consider what I’m saying. Then run far away and look for a school that is actually interested in training your son or daughter.

 

My Best

The Traveling Ballet Master

 

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3 Responses to Ahh Nuts

  1. Nina says:

    So absolutely, unequivocally true, true, true!!!! I think about how much time I have spent in the past 8 weeks doing something other than training and have been trying to convince my bosses her (our/their) time/ money would be better spent elsewhere. Sigh. At least it was just Saturdays….

  2. Alice Terrazas says:

    Once again you have put the “Nutcracker” into the proper perspective! My daughter had the opportunity to “audition” for a small professional company’s Nutcracker this year, she opted not to. She also had the opportunity to “audition” for the Nutcracker at her old dance school, once again she said no. Instead she chose to dance in a small, very small, showcase at her new studio. It will be a few of the variations from the Nutcracker Ballet and it will be in the studio. No expensive costumes or backdrops just some borrowed costumes and the studio.

    Does she miss being in a Nutcracker production, yes she does but she doesn’t miss all the drama the comes with it. Girls getting a role because of who their parents are not their talent, unhappy girls who don’t get the roles they want to dance and parents who demand their child get a role!! A lot of stress!!

    So this year we are stress free and happy. She takes classes and works on her technique and continues to grow in the wonderful atmosphere of her new studio. Classic Vaganova training in small classes (4 to 5 girls), hands on corrections and above all the teacher has control of the class. No lack of discipline or respect. She leaves class tired, sweaty and very happy.

    Ballet, the path my daughter has chosen will not be easy. A lot of work still needs to be done and there is so much she still has to learn. She made a very adult decision to give up the “glare of the spotlight” this Nutcracker season and I a very proud of her.

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