An American Girl in Washington

American Nutcracker

Posted in Just another day in DC by AGinDC on 9 December 2010

Tonight my handsome (he finally wore a suit!) and amazing friend The Rev took me to the Washington Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.  Like most little girls, I have always been in love with the Nutcracker, I watched the VHS of Michael Barishnokov’s performance as the Prince from July to December and danced myself silly pretending to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.

One of my favourite things about the Nutcracker is the way each regional ballet company makes the show their own.  In Seattle, the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s set is designed by Maurice Sendak to incredible effect.  In Washington DC, of course, Setpime Weber (the company Artistic Director, and what a cutie he is) has adapted the show as an American retrospective, complete with rats as Redcoats, good soldiers as Revolutionaries and a Nutcracker who looks suspiciously like George Washington.  There are also plenty of dancing Native Americans and a gorgeous cherry blossom set.

The set design and costumes of this show were absolutely incredible, worth seeing themselves.  And the dancing was, while not technically perfect, full of joy and spirit, the absolute epitome of a company of dancers absolutely thrilled to be putting on this perfect play.  There were also about half a million children, each of them gorgeous and happy and absolutely thrilled to be part of this production.  I couldn’t help but imagine my future little girl one day playing the part of Betsy Ross (yes, even she had a cameo).  The show was full of the joy of Christmas, the pride of being a Washingtonian and an American, and the wonder of childhood.  Even with the shoddy sound system (no live orchestra here, I’m sure you saw the Express cover about that this morning) and the amateur crowd (which I expect and love at this and only this ballet), everything about this gorgeous production was joy and light and the first thing I’ve done this year that really made me feel like Christmas (no, working late at Local Department Store does not count).

I am so thrilled to be in this beautiful city for the holidays.  The lights and the sounds and the sales (yaay!) are one of a kind and my incredible friends make it all the more special.  I may not be able to see my family this Christmas but I have a family here and a city that I love and nothing could be better.  From my gorgeous friend who may be having a baby soon (another yaay!) to the Rev., who always buys me drinks because I’m poor and he has a job and we’re both alcoholic lawyers, even with the terrible day I had today I’m going to bed with a smile on my face.  I guess that’s a sign that I’m in the right place, at the right time.

Happy Holidays everyone,



2 Responses

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  1. reverenddave said, on 9 December 2010 at 9:41 am

    Poor and alcoholic ill forgive, but you butchered the spelling of Mikhail Baryshnikov.

    • agindc said, on 20 December 2010 at 3:42 pm

      I totally did. I’m blaming the alcohol and, to a lesser degree, the poverty.

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