What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by seeing a classic performance of the Nutcracker? That’s exactly what we did this past weekend at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Robert Weiss directs this version of the Nutcracker that is so beautifully performed by the members of the Carolina Ballet.
Today, we’ve got a review of the performance and are giving away two tickets for a lucky reader to go experience the show on their own!
In brief, here’s a quick recap from two points of view- myself and Izzy. I figured this was a good approach since we were coming from two different places as I am a lady who was familiar with the story and had taken dance through high school and college while Izzy new nothing of the story and is a guy who doesn’t typically go to the ballet.
I loved it! I knew the story and had seen it performed by another company long ago. Yet, I was taken aback by how fresh and new this version felt. The dancing was spectacular- no question about it. That is one talented company. The soloists had jaw-dropping moves and tricks, the kids were adorable, and there was a good bit of humor incorporated with the technical moves.
However, one thing that really makes this show stand out is that there is an element of magic! Robert Weiss, the director, even says this in the opening, but you don’t realize that he is being 100% serious. With the help of Las-Vegas based professional magician/illusionist, Rick Thomas, there are actual illusions incorporated into the performance. It is spectacular and delightful with dancers disappearing, reappearing, and so much more.
The set design by Jeff A.R. Jones is probably one of the best of any live performance I have ever seen. The set was elaborate, beautiful, and completely transported me into another world.
The costumes were gorgeous when appropriate with flowing dresses and sparkling tutus. There were also more cutesy ones, such as the gingerbread men, that brought smiles to everyone’s faces.
I was also pleasantly surprised that Izzy had a great time and said he would even go back to another show with me. Success!
I went into this show not being a ballet man. I am not sure many of us are, however I left feeling satisfied in the performance. It was not just a ballet for people who “know” ballet, it was a celebration of what Christmas used to be about like giving, family get-togethers, presents, gingerbread cookies, and a little bit of magic. No, seriously, there was magic. The dancing was timed nicely and no performance seemed to drag on as often happens with most classical dance style- at least that what it feels like to the laymen. It is definitely something to take the family to and I will be doing that myself once my kids are old enough to appreciate such things…and not a moment before.
On to the giveaway…the kind folks at the Carolina Ballet are generously giving a lucky reader two tickets for a show of their choosing. Since this is a show perfect for family night, date night, or an outing with a friend, it’s open to everyone! Here’s how to enter to win:
Leave us a comment at the bottom of this page telling us what you want for Christmas! It’s that easy. One entry per email address. It may take a little bit for your comment to show because we approve each comment individually. Also, we won’t use your email address for anything other that to contact you if you win- promise. We hate spam too.
This giveaway will run until Thursday, December 17th at 8pm. We will announce the winner Friday morning.
If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry! There are still 14 more performances between the dates of December 18th and December 27th that can be seen at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. The rest of the season in early 2016 will be devoted to several works of Shakespeare, which look so enticing we’re already planning which of those performances we want to go to! Ticket prices range from $25-$105 and can be found at the Carolina Ballet website or at Ticketmaster.