As a child, many memories are made during the holidays. From gingerbread cookies to presents on christmas morning, the holidays are a fabulous time filled with many traditions for children and adults. One of these traditions include seeing the Nutcracker. Many companies, from professional ballet academies to smaller more private dance studios all perform some rendition of the Nutcracker during Christmastime. 


I personally had never been to a live Nutcracker, and to say I loved the ballet would be an understatement. Simply attending such an event creates a higher recognition and appreciation of the art itself along with an entertaining show to enjoy for people of all ages. The grace of the dancers paired with the elegant and extravagant costuming created a show worth seeing year after year. 


Marat Daukayev Ballet Theatre performed an excellent version of the Nutcracker with guest artists Maria Kochetkova and Gennadi Nedvigin. Daukayev’s very own students along with the flawless guest performers perfectly executed one of the most cherished ballets of all time. From the costuming to the choreography, the storyline was beautifully enacted. 


Meanwhile, the juxtaposition of the young dancers and the advanced ballerinas provided a insight into the school as well. The synchronization of the Snow Adagio as well as the colorful presentation of the Spanish, Chinese and Russian entourages were delightful to watch. The flexibility of the Arabian soloist was incredible. The children are always adorable as they perform for the first time, and are paired with the beautiful pirouettes and pas de deuxs of the older dancers. The Sugar Plum Fairy (Kochetkova) was absolutely flawless in every way. It really was visually stunning and diverse enough for audiences of all ages. 


In the end, watching a live show beats a pre-recording anytime, the energy of dancers themselves as well as the overall mood of the theatre provides an experience not available on HDTV screens. Little happenings, like a small boy picking up a fallen headpiece as he runs out, makes the audience laugh and essentially creates a unique occurrence. Each show is a little bit different and each rendition of the Nutcracker is distinct in its own way. However, the Nutcracker is an unparalleled 2 hours of entertainment well worth the time and leaves audiences with a sense of joy and a true holiday spirit.

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