Last weekend had a performance of Tchaicovsky’s Nutcracker from the Columbia Ballet Collaborative. Bwog sent ballet buckwheater (yes, it’s a word!) Roberta Barnett to bear witness to some dazzling dance.
Disclaimer: the following review may or may not contain “real ballet knowledge”
Branded as “Columbia’s newest tradition,” Columbia Ballet Collaborative’s performance of The Nutcracker, this small production was definitely worth seeing. I walked in, somewhat worried I was going to have to spend hours away from my textbook the week before finals, but I soon realized the performance was not the ballet in full.
Taken from the second act of Tchaicovsky’s Nutcracker, CBC’s selection of the celebration of the sweets toward the end of the ballet was a clever one. They managed to put together cohesively one of the most iconic portions of the ballet. For those not super familiar with the ballet, it’s kind of like when Odysseus comes home to Ithaca, except everyone’s happy and non-violent and wearing pointe shoes.
The intimacy of the performance, about an hour, was only underscored by the fact that it was not performed on a stage, but rather, a dance studio. Therefore, seating was limited and on folding chairs, a seemingly rogue element to the performance.
The setting didn’t at all detract from the beauty and professionalism of the dancers. That being said, I haven’t danced in a ballet in ten years, so I can’t promise the refined taste of a ballet critic here. I can say that even slight mistakes in lifts and leaps didn’t deter the dancers from confidently finishing their performance. Overall, for such an informal production, I was impressed. I’m sure the creative work of the stagers Ariana Lott (CC ‘13) and Rachel Silvern (BC ‘14) was not without its challenges given the setting, and they met those challenges aptly.
If you didn’t get the chance to see one of the three performances last weekend, don’t despair. As a new tradition, it looks like CBC’s Nutcracker is here to stay, hopefully something Columbians will be able to look forward to for years to come.
Best Christmas present ever via Shutterstock