Opera House, Boston, MA. Orchestra, Seat S2.
I do not know ballet. I can probably count the number of times I have seen a ballet performance on the fingers of one hand, and that includes TV programs. The two live performances I had seen before tonight’s were in
The Opera House in
Tonight’s performance was the last of 40 or so performances by the Boston Ballet, one can imagine they had to be a bit tired. I am sure they rotated among their principal dancers and soloists, so the wear and tear on the dancers should not be too bad. Still, doing the same program several times a week for over a month required tremendous dedication from the artists.
The story of The Nutcracker is simple. It begins with a Christmas party in
The sets were elaborate and well-done. The snowfall was heavy (the program notes said it cost $16,000 to make). Clara was transported into the magical world with a balloon rather than the usual mundane sleigh. The Christmas tree that grew huge looked real. It reminded me of a Broadway show with well-designed stage sets.
The dancers were all quite impressive. I need to learn something about ballet techniques; before I do, I must say the athleticism, control, and artistry involved were amazing. The two principal dancers were particularly impressive, although there was a wobble now and then. The majority of Boston Ballet’s principal and soloist dancers are foreign born, which speaks either to the
I do know something about the music. The orchestra’s performance was a great disappointment. At first I wasn’t sure whether it was a live orchestra or a bad tape being played. They used microphones to pick up the sound from the orchestra, which was seated too low in the pit, and the sound system sounded as if it consisted of only two speakers. The playing was sloppy and muddled. The Nutcracker isn’t particularly difficult to do, which added to the puzzlement.
Much credit is due the dancers in that quite often I was so mesmerized with their performance that I forgot about the pitiful noise coming out from the tinny speakers. Boston Ballet should enforce their late seating policy, this gentleman in the next row came in late for both Acts, and left and returned during the first Act.
In mid-March both the