Colorado Ballet Presents 56th Annual Nutcracker Production
En Face, a sweet assortment of bouncing, red sugarplums lined up and curtseyed to introduce the 56th annual production of The Nutcracker presented by the Colorado Ballet at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Saturday evening, November 26, 2016.
“This Nutcracker is a larger-than-life extravaganza,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs. “This timeless ballet features lavish costumes, exuberant dancing, whimsical battles, hypnotizing snow flurries, delicious sets and majestic live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.”
The set opened with a jumble of party goers bustling through the streets of 19th Century Europe.They are on their way to the home of the Stalbaum family for a holiday party. Herr Drosselmeyer (performed by Gregory K. Gonzales), an outre toy inventor,is in tow balancing a bundle of boxes to be delivered to the evening’s hosts.
After a brief interlude the curtain rises within the Stalbaum’s home and festivities ensue. All guests participate in lively drinking and dancing. The audience is also introduced to the heroine of the story, Clara, and her boisterous brother Fritz (performed by Dana Benton and Sean Omandam).
Drosselmayer playfully presents Fritz with a sack of nuts. He is visibly displeased until Clara is bestowed with a spectacular nutcracker doll. In the excitement of the evening the doll is sadly broken by Fritz. Clara is distraught until Drosselmayer repairs it. With each elegant leap, mesmerizing twirl and lithe arabesque of the ballerinas and danseurs the story beautifully unfolds.
According to Colorado Ballet’s website, this production of the Nutcracker features more than 300 costumes, 132 dancers, vivid scenery by Jose Varona and timeless choreography paired with Tchaikovsky’s arrangement as performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.
“I guarantee that audiences will not see anything like Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker in the region; our tremendously talented dancers performing with our extraordinary orchestra musicians during the holiday season is truly magical,” said Boggs.
Each act proves to be more enchanting then the last. As Clara falls asleep cradling her treasure she wafts into a dreamland that excites the imagination. Here, her treasured doll has transformed into the Nutcracker Prince (performed by Francisco Estevez pictured above and below). Together they encounter a capricious battle with a bunch of man-sized mice, a dazzling cascade of dancing snowflakes amidst a blizzard and a potpourri of resplendent sweets. After all of this they finally meet the ruler of the Land of Sweets and beyond — the Sugarplum Fairy (performed by Maria Mosina pictured at bottom).
Whether young or young at heart, Colorado Ballet’s production of this holiday tradition is sure to thrill and delight. It will satiate any appetite for classical dancing and music in this imagination come to life.
In total this season there will be 26 performances of the The Nutcracker for the 2016 holiday season. For more information about Colorado Ballet, this production, upcoming productions or to purchase tickets please visit www.coloradoballet.org.