As a child, I have always loved the Nutcracker. The story is magical and the different renditions potrayed in ballet are just beautiful. I have always wanted to go see the live ballet and this year I was extremely lucky to be able to, thanks to USFamilyGuide.com. My mom taught me the love of culture and the beauty in the arts, so naturally I wanted to take her along on this wonderful adventure.
As we entered the beautiful Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis - which is gorgeous - there was a beautiful ballerina ready to have her picture taken with you for a fair price (she was also there at the end). Any little girls dream could come true with that! They also had a souvenir table with beautiful posters, trinkets and Russian dolls and Nutcrackers as well as things to be purchased from the show like DVD's and CD's. But this was only the beginning.
We were graciously granted seats very close to the stage with a TERRIFIC view I must say.
We were so close we could see the details in every single costume that was so intricately made and designed by the hand of a true artist. Being able to see the expressions of the dancers made the ballet even that much more enjoyable. I couldn't believe the talent we saw while the story of the Great Russian Nutcracker played out before us on stage. It was an event that could be enjoyed by the whole family, and in fact we had small girls with their mothers on each side of us. I had the pleasure to hear the girl next to me quietly ask her mother questions about the ginormous puppets and the dragon on stage. And what was going on with the Rat King and why were they fighting. The innocence and beauty in seeing a child enjoy the class act going on on the stage was a wonderful addition to the actual ballet itself.
The first Act was about 45 minutes long with a 15 minute intermission. Act II was also 45 minutes making it enjoyable for adults and the children as well. I absolutely loved that it was a family event and seeing all the mother's and daughters together warmed my heart.
The Great Russian Nutcracker is a wonderfully staged ballet which not only includes the all famous Sugar Plum Fairies, but also so many like Uncle Drosselmeyer (who performed wonderfully - and OH his costumes were marvelous) and the family and friends like brother Fritz and Masha, prima ballerina. The Rat King (with THREE heads - a marvelous and gigantic puppet!) had many little rat followers and the fight between himself and the Nutcracker Prince was a wonderful spectre.
One of my favorite parts of the ballet itself was watching the Emissaries of Spain, Europe, Asia, Russian and Africa perform in their own special, and all to brilliant dances. It was such a fabulous experience that I will not soon forget. The costumes, back drops, puppets and the detail and wonderful dancing creating the story of the Great Russian Nutcracker are hard to surpass. The expressions on the dancers faces told the story as it wasn't just the dancing that did so, but the poise and elegance as well. I have never been so impressed with ballet in my life as with the Nutcracker coming to life before my eyes.
Pictures were not allowed or I would have gladly showed off the beauty I was so lucky to enjoy. I definitely recommend going to see the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker.
*I received two tickets free from USFamilyGuide.com to review this ballet. All opinions are 100% my own.