So it’s Nutcracker season.
Last night I dreamed I was in a theater and the ballet dancer David Hallberg was on stage, dressed in a white ballet costume. He was breathing in that heavy but controlled way that dancers do when they are taking bows after a solo. (What that? It was no effort at all. You see, I’m not even winded.) He was explaining to the audience, who I understood to be a room full of theater owners, why they should book his Nutcracker.
“Unlike other Nutcrackers,” he said. “This one will finish in the Museum of National Security.”
I drifted to consciousness at this point, which is why I remember, but soon fell asleep again and the dream theme continued. I was scrolling through an Amazon listing for the book version of the National Security Nutcracker starring David Hallberg. A voice over my shoulder was asking me (as people used to when I worked at Borders Books and Music) whether the Nutcracker had been released as a book with a blue cover. I explained that, no, it was small and green.
A review in one of those Amazon pull quotes jumped out at me. “The longer you sit with this book after reading, the more meaning you will find.”
The quote was signed “Bette Midler.”
Now this is a Nutcracker production I have to see.
I think this dream rivals the one in which I was on the set of Downton Abbey with Stephen Fry. Or the one I had the other night (which I did not blog about) in which I was watching a Youtube video interview with Lord Alfred Douglas. (In my dream world there are such things.) The interviewer was saying, “I’m surprised you read____” The name was of something folksy and lowbrow which I no longer remember. Douglas replied in his plummy accent, “It is country but it is charming.” Then his smile faded and he turned on the interviewer shouting, “You presume to tell me what I should read!”
Before bed yesterday I listened to this interview with Hallberg about the Bolsohi Ballet’s Nutcracker, which will be aired as part of the Ballet in Cinema program on December 21. It is probably what put him and The Nutcracker into my subconscious.
I have something of a Nutcracker conflict this year. As I mentioned, The Bolshoi’s Nutcracker is airing in cinemas on December 21. Bolshoi Ballet in the U.S. Facebook page is showing images of Evgenia Obratsova and Vlad Lantratov to advertise the production, but the Bolshoi’s web page lists Anna Nikulina and Denis Rodkin in the principal roles on that date.
If you are in the Detroit area, however, you have an opportunity on the same day to see The Motown Nutcracker at the Ford Performing Art Center. My partner, Valery Lantratov (also known as Vlad’s dad) choreographed the pas de deux for this year’s production. When Legacy Dance Studio first asked him to create a classical pas de deux for the Nutcracker to Motown music, it was a bit outside his comfort zone. But I had an opportunity to see the result this summer as he was rehearsing with the students, and it was beautiful, proving my theory about creativity from constraints.
I am looking forward to seeing it.