We just got home from Maren's final performance of this year's Nutcracker. Her parts were a party child, a flower petal, and a Greeter in the Land Of Sweets. B and I attended yesterday's performance, and I helped out backstage on Friday for the two performances for the elementary schools in the area. Even after watching it twice on the monitor backstage, I still got chills and caught my breath several times as Clara was lifted around by the Nutcracker Prince, the snowflakes whirled softly (my favorite), the dew drop leaped and kicked, and the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier (guest dancers from the NYC Ballet) took my breath away. And, as it had back stage, the part came where the prince bids farewell to Clara and she picks up her doll and gently twirls away, her dream over. And, as I had back stage, I got emotional. B smiled at me and said, "Wow. That was amazing." It was a beautiful production... yes, we saw it last year, and it was good, then, too, but something this year... I don't know. Anyway, what is it about the Nutcracker that gets me verklempt? I think its just the innocence... an innocent love story, a dream that ends, but will always be remembered, given as a gift. And watching these children and young adults, under the guidance and direction of their teachers and beloved director, Miss Elizabeth, doing something artistic, physically taxing, and demanding of their time and respect... amid all the corruption and terror, and evil influences of the world. Our society can still teach our children to dance, and be beautiful in expressing timeless music known the world over.
We took Maren out to eat Saturday after her performance. Every little ballerina wants ribs, right?