Saturday night, my two nieces and I saw the "Nutcracker" ballet. We took the train to the
Civic Center, then walked up the hill past the Disney Center to the elegant, bejeweled
Music Center, also known as the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. We barely had time to notice the fountain in front as we were bustled into the lobby and onto an elevator to the balcony, where we quickly found our seats as the lights dimmed and the curtain rose.
Then we were transported to the turn of the century, as beautiful people in holiday attire walked to a Christmas party, where we met Clara and Drosselmeyer, the magician. We
watched him give her a nutcracker, which later became a life-sized, handsome soldier.
We watched women in colorful ball gowns dance with their partners in colorful tails, as
boys and girls cavorted and received presents of dolls and toys.
Sallie, who is nine, was on the edge of her seat. After the curtain fell and the lights came up, she said breathlessly: "That was just wonderful!" She was excited to learn it was only intermission, not the end! After an unsuccessful attempt to get hot chocolate and coffee, (the lines were too long), we settled for cookies and water. We also found our friend, Katie, who had sat in a different seat during Act One, so we sat together for Act Two. The music, played by the Los Angeles Opera orchestra, was Tchaikovsky at his best. The costumes were bedazzling and the dancers even more so. To see some great pictures and learn more about this wonderful ballet, here is a link to the Los Angeles Times.
Seventeen-year-old Colleen was equally enchanted, but got added pleasure from watching her sister's reaction. Although the Joffrey Ballet is now based in Chicago, the 23 children in the cast were local, inspiring Sallie to vow that she was going to work even harder in her ballet class. There were toys, snow, a giant Christmas tree that grew taller, toy soldiers, sword-fighting mice, and dolls. My memory will be of softly falling snow and dancers who leapt and sparkled as if they were snowflakes themselves. Afterwards, we met family members at a little place for, finally: coffee and hot chocolate!
Next Saturday, Sallie and I plan to start working on some dolls inspired by "The Nutcracker." She's going to do some sketches this week and will come prepared to
translate them into her own creations.
Last week Sophie posted some early photos of my latest doll, Delphine, who is still in
progress, so updated photos will be posted soon. My "Nutcracker" evening may influence
the doll's dresses in the future, including Delphine's. More on that next time. (The
"Nutcracker Suite" just came on the radio, so I listen, transported, as I finish this!)
See you next week!