My four grandchildren having aged out of childhood, I invited a dear friend’s marvelous granddaughter—let’s call her Sarah—to my annual viewing of Balanchine’s Nutcracker, as rendered, 58 years after its creation, by the first company to dance it, the New York City Ballet. There’s little more wonderful than being an old hand at something and sharing it with a person for whom it’s entirely new—and enticing. Sarah is one of those marvelous creatures on whom, as they say, nothing is lost.
Sarah’s mother had kindly briefed this bright and beautiful six-year old, who was handed over to me fully in command of the story and not a bit puzzled by the fact that the performers didn’t speak. It’s true, of course, that Tiler Peck, as Dewdrop, is an icon of eloquence, and I’m glad that my young guest saw at least one artist of Peck’s extraordinary caliber. The entire performance was the best rehearsed I’ve seen in decades of watching City Ballet’s “Nuts.” There’s a great deal to be said for that sort of “pedestrian” accomplishment.
© 2012 Tobi Tobias