As I watched Maddy dance last Sunday, I remembered the first time I saw The Nutcracker. I must have been 6 or 7 years old, and had never been to a ballet before. I was in love with dancing, as many young girls are, and my most treasured book at that time was a little red book called A Child’s Book of Ballet. (It was dearly loved and literally read to pieces!) I remember that I wore my very best dress and new shoes, and that we sat quite close to the stage, and I was able to see the dancers up close. I fell in love with the music, the colors, the lovely scenery, and the dancing… and I’ve never gotten over it!
Since that first experience, I’ve seen the ballet performed many, many times in different cities and by different companies. I loved watching Salt Lake City’s wonderful Ballet West performing Willam Christensen’s version year after year. And Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet Company has put on a lovely version each year since 1983, with scenery and costumes designed by Maurice Sendak! Maddy’s ballet troupe performed in a very intimate theater, on a relatively small stage, so it was a more contained version than I’d seen before. But the costuming was exquisite and the music as enthralling as ever, and I loved the creativity and the heart in her production.
I enjoy hearing the music playing in the background at the grocery store or in shops at Christmastime. And I love to watch ice skating versions of the ballet — my sentimental favorite being a 1992 performance by Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov.
So as my own children were growing up, Christmas morning always began with the music of The Nutcracker playing in the background. This year the Grandboy is coming to spend Christmas with us, so of course that music will be part of his very first Christmas. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it!
15 December – Alyssa (By The Book)
16 December – Rachel (A Fair Substitute for Heaven)
17 December – Literary Feline (Musings of a Bookish Kitty)/ Stephanie (Stephanie’s Confessions of a Book-a-holic)
18 December – Dev (Good Reads)
19 December – Callista (S.M.S. Book Reviews)
20 December – Tiny Little Librarian (Tiny Little Librarian)
21 December – Carla (Carla Nayland Historical Fiction)/ Susan (Reading, Raving, and Ranting by a Historical Fiction Writer)
22 December – Carolyn Jean (The Trillionth Page)
23 December – Booklogged (A Reader’s Journal)
24 December – Kailana (The Written World) / Carl V. (Stainless Steel Droppings)