A couple of weeks before The Nutcracker you may have been looking forward to these post-Nutcracker moments.
Stress levels were high with concerns about costumes, choreography, rehearsals, make-up & hair requirements, health concerns and/or pre-performance jitters of both your dancer and you. Did your heart race a little faster each time your ear tuned into a refrain of Tchaikovsky’s famous score? If so, that could be classified as ‘strong evidence’ that YOU had a child in The Nutcracker cast.
Congratulations! If you are reading this now-you survived.
If this was your first Nutcracker, you may have been surprised by the amount of effort it requires to be part of such an amazing undertaking. Each student dedicated hours at the studio (and likely at home too), in rehearsing the steps to their dance. Instructors and rehearsal assistants have spent even more hours listening to music, studying choreography, and making necessary adjustments to ensure that your dancer knows their part and went onstage looking lovely and confident. Office staff has taken care of rehearsal scheduling, phone calls and emails, t-shirt order forms, and so much more. Your director likely invested even more time, energy and money than everyone else did. Production elements need to be procured months in advance including: the theatre, orchestra, costumes, props, backdrops, sets, videographer, photographers, AND they also oversaw the publicity elements which likely included: television, radio, online and print advertising, interviews, articles, promotions and press releases. All this is necessary because if people don’t buy tickets-your dancer does not have an audience to perform for.
If you have been part of a Nutcracker production in the past, then you have been bitten by The Nutcracker bug and came back for more. I know the feeling. My children have been part of over 20 Nutcracker productions and each one is special in its own way. Nothing quite compares to the joy of being part of The Nutcracker. It is THE ballet that everyone wants to experience.
In the weeks leading up to the show, you may have caught yourself thinking, “I’ll never do this again.” One week before the show you may have thought, “It’s almost over.” When show day arrived you came to the theater and found your seat. As the house lights dimmed, the curtains opened and a breathtaking scene unfolded, telling the sweet tale of Clara and her beloved Nutcracker. The joy of the party, the excitement of the battle, and the delightful travel through the ‘Land of the Sweets’ transported you to a dream world where everything is delicious and full of delight.
If your dancer was a toy mouse or the Sugar Plum Fairy, the feeling is the same. Nothing beats seeing your child on stage, doing what they love, and bringing holiday cheer to the entire community-with a smile on their face! There they are, embracing the moment and living a dream-it was worth it after all.
Now, Nutcracker season is over and hopefully you and your dancer are both enjoying a well-earned rest. The many lessons learned and experiences you’ve shared along the way will long outlive those shining moments on the stage.
But don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking forward with anticipation to next season’s Nutcracker. It’s the most performed and best attended ballet of all time.
Let the magic begin-again!
(Nutcracker Finale Photo by: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography)