Your Online Guide to the Arts in the Brazos Valley

Photos and articles by one of the Brazos Valley's leading artists... guiding you to great art and entertainment opportunities. For a blog about Brazos Valley Music History, Click HERE:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Nutcracker! Majestic. At Rudder!

I'm more Mantracker or weed-whacker than Nutcracker, but this was eye candy for anyone with a trace of good taste... Besides, the Nutcracker ballet is not really about a nutcracker!

For exactly sixty years people have enjoyed various versions of the Nutcracker ballet as an American classic holiday tradition, ever since the Russian George Balanchine adapted Tchaikovsky's 1892 score to the modern stage. ABC40 sent me and the crew to the Rudder Auditorium on the Texas A&M campus to catch the local ballet company's rendition of it. My crew got trapped in a festive traffic quagmire outside... but luckily I got a parking place just in time to catch their performance...

In Texas we pride ourselves with town names like Winchester and Cut and Shoot, and The Nutcracker fits right in. The show really got cranking when they pulled out their swords and started hacking.  Believe it or not, the first performance of this ballet was a failure, and Tchaikovsky was very displeased with his creation, having been given some artistically restraining creative boundaries. That should be an inspiration to every struggling artist.

Look at it now! No matter the story, which is sort of a Christmas toy fantasy, I knew this would be a crowd pleaser for these Aggies. I may not now much about dance but I know athleticism and grace when I see it... Ballet is the epitome of artistic discipline.

The mix of grace and perfection would make anybody watch while forgetting to breathe. Still, the dancers wore genuine smiles of joy as if they were really having fun. That is the mark of natural talent... or just obliviousness to it. Either way it was a joy to watch. 

A packed crowd inside Rudder Auditorium endured the cold, impossible parking and busily milling crowds who were attending multiple campus events to get a glimpse of this ballet mega-hit. But there were many smiles and stares of wonder in the audience. The Christmas season had begun.

THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! This was a prima ballerina worthy of the name.

She was exquisite, and if she was  not actually enjoying herself, then she is a great actress as well.

It went really fast... before you knew it they were done. And I was finally learning how to photograph them!

They always give them flowers at the end... and it never seems like enough for all that work.

BRAVO! I failed to get a program, so if somebody wants to give me some names I would love to recognize these artists... This was a real jump-start for getting into the Holiday spirit. But they are going to need a much bigger auditorium when the word finally gets out about the quality of art you can see right here in the Brazos Valley.

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