The Nutcracker: A Holiday Ballet Romance

Nutcracker ballet #streettrotter Boston Ballet in Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker; photo by Liza Voll, courtesy of Boston Ballet

Like every other girl, I grew up believing in fairy tales. My childhood was filled with dreamy characters – prince and princesses, magicians and knights, witches and monsters, goblins and dwarfs. The world was not made of skyscrapers and busy cities, but was built into one magnificent castle, packed in a musical snow globe. And the only question I always asked secretly was, “What if, someday it all came true?” And last night, it really did, as I watched, The Nutcracker. 

We walked into the Boston Opera House, kick starting our Christmas happiness, to watch the timeless holiday classic by Boston Ballet, The Nutckracker.  The majestic chandeliers lit the lobby in grandeur, glazing the mesmerizing Christmas decorations. At quarter past seven, the gates to the theater opened and a cheerful crowd moved inside, settling into their seats for the magical tale to start. Fifteen minutes later, it was time for Clara and her dreamy romance with the Nutckracker prince to come true, in an extravagant ballet performance.

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Boston Ballet in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet

The scenes smoothly transitioned from a town square, to ballrooms, to a snow forest and a Kingdom, in a matter of seconds. Each act was presented as if we were flipping the pages of an enchanting story book. The ballet dancers were dressed in handcrafted costumes, so beautiful, that they almost felt like cotton candies dancing on the stage. The bejeweled dresses shimmered like stars and the snow fell all over the set, making us feel the chill of a white magical winter.

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What made it a night to remember for all, with the audience applauding in amaze, was the moment when the Nutcracker prince broke out of his shell, and came to life, bringing along a fully grown Christmas tree. Later the Nutcracker’s soldiers fought the wicked army of the monstrous mouse, bringing in action and drama, all in the form of a well-envisioned ballet feature. What more could I have asked for, from this fairy tale come alive for me, in this two-hour show, that was nothing less than a short mystical dream. Later I wondered for a split second, ‘Was really Clara dreaming, or was it just me?’ The Nutcracker, surely got me hooked into a mysterious tale.

Swinging back into reality, no wonder, the show is a known holiday classic across New England and all of America. For expats like me, this was a perfect opportunity to immerse into traditional American holiday culture and familiarize myself with the mythical holiday characters, my peers grew up with. Being a ballet lover, I still fall short of words to appreciate the flawless performances of the full company of 68 dancers, along with more than 200 Boston Ballet school students. They surely created magic on the stage. 

Excited? Watch a preview: 

On a closing note, here are some tips and suggestions for all those who are planning to enjoy the show next:

  • I highly recommend good seats, but they come with a price. If you are a child, teenager, student or senior citizen, go ahead and book the special rush tickets for $25. Plan to go in a group, to avail group discounts or simply book in advance for a chance to avail some cheaper options.
  • Read and watch – The Nutcracker synopsis, before you go.
  • Spread your excitement with the world through Boston Ballet’s active social media – Instagram and twitter.
  • Catch up with Nutcracker’s ‘behind the scenes’ action, and event updates on Boston Ballet’s Facebook page.
  •  Don’t miss getting your picture clicked with the Nutcracker bunny and bear crew in the Opera House lobby.
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“Happy Holidays. With love – the official StreetTrotter couple!”