San Jose, California - Ballet San Jose
Real Nutcracker Magic - Storytelling At Its Best
December 10, 2011 - By Brad Maxwell
San Jose sits in the middle of Silicon Valley, just south of San Francisco, California. It's surrounded by hundreds of companies focused on today's modern
technologies and Internet communications. So its not a surprise that an area filled with innovative and visionary people would have a creative ballet company as well. Ballet
San Jose presents one of the most creative and entertaining Nutcrackers in the nation. It's a Broadway-worthy ballet spectacular!
Dennis Nahat's Nutcracker story is exquisitely presented and supported throughout the entire performance. The acting is simply
sensational. Comedy is ingeniously incorporated within the show, especially in the Party Scene where simultaneous skits take place at different locations
on the stage. Its all so entertaining you just can't help but finish Act I with a big ear-to-ear grin.
All of the Act II Divertissements continue the fun and creativity. New songs are incorporated and The
Grand Ball (Waltz of Flowers) is one of a few in the country that include male dancers. Not to mention
that Clara and the Nutcracker Prince (Ramon Moreno) pretty much dance throughout the entire second act. The two are so accomplished and talented, they are absolutely
spectacular to watch.
The story starts at the Tannenbaum's house where Maria, Junna Ige, and her two brothers live with their parents, assisted by two silly maids who hang pine
boughs and push serving carts across the stage during the party. The sleepy and unsteady quick stepping grandparents show up, followed by a
gaggle of friends and the magical Godfather Drosselmeyer, played by Maximo Califano. Drosselmeyer then puts on a theater, telling the story
of a Nutcracker Prince in the land of Muscovy; he uses face masks to change characters in his one man play. After the story, everyone gets up to dance
, including the maids who begin flirting with Drosselmeyer and a guest. The guests leave and the family goes to bed.
The older Maria sneaks downstairs and performs a solo dance and then falls asleep on the couch dreaming of
Drosselmeyer's story and the Nutcracker Prince. She awakes and realizes that little hand puppet mice are sneaking up all around her. Drosselmeyer
appears magically shrinking the room while bringing the Nutcracker to life. A battle between the mice and soldiers end when Maria stabs the Mouse King
transforming the Nutcracker into a Prince. They journey to a Land of Snow where they dance with a twelve Snowflake ensemble in a heavy snowy
blizzard. A truly gorgeous Snow Scene.
Act II opens as Maria and her Prince travel by swan to the Great Gates of Castille (Spanish), Land of Shifting Sands (Arabian), Land of the Ivory Pagoda
(Chinese) and the Gates of Muscovy (Russian). The Grand Ball (Waltz of Flowers) includes eight couples with many jete lifts and spins.
The Tsar Nikolai, Jeremy Kovitch, and the Tsarina Tatiana, Alexsandra Meijer, perform the Grand Pas De Deux which incorporates the traditional music
and a graceful choreography -- a breathtakingly beautiful performance.
Be sure not to miss this spectacular show at The San Jose Center for the Performing Arts accompanied by the San Jose Symphony Orchestra