For a lot of little girls, going to see the local production of “The Nutcracker” is the highlight of the holiday season. If you’re a very lucky girl you get to see “The Nutcracker” performed by a premiere ballet company–and in New York that’s generally thought to be the New York City Ballet’s iconic production at Lincoln Center. But the American Ballet Theatre’s new production of the classic at BAM in Brooklyn is giving the NYCB’s version a run for its money.
Alistair Macaulay, the Times dance critic says “the central marvel of Alexei Ratmansky’s ‘Nutcracker’…lies in its vision of adults as the transformed potential future of the children who carry the story.” I have no idea what that means (even the headline of his review, “What if You Could Meet Yourself as an Adult? These Children Do,” still has me scratching my head). But I got to see the show for the second year in a row with a bunch of fashion types and their adorable children–Arizona Muse and her unbelievably beautiful son Nikko were sitting right in front of me–and I loved it. Ratmansky’s interpretation of the classic is whimsical and at times laugh-out-loud funny.
Part of the delight in going to see the ballet, and in seeing “The Nutcracker” in particular, besides the dancing and music of course, is the costumes. At NYCB they use the versions of the same costumes they’ve been using every year since 1954. Costume designer Richard Hudson has a fresh take on the iconic roles.