[Review] Ben Stevenson's The Nutcracker - Bass Performance Hall

The holiday season has arrived and what a better way to kick off the festivities with your loved ones then by attending a classical ballet performance of The Nutcracker at Bass Performance Hall!

Texas Ballet Theater under the artistic direction of Ben Stevenson, O.B.E. has once again produced a masterpiece of classic holiday cheer for North Texas.  Ranked as one of the top 10 performance halls worldwide, Bass Hall is brought to life by visions of magical wind-up dolls, snow flakes, sweet treats and not to mention The Sugar Plum Fairy!

Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816)" Act I finds Herr Stahlbaum and his wife throwing a Christmas party as their children Clara & Fritz welcome the guests.  Toys are handed out to all the children with the sudden arrival of Dr. Drosselmeyer, the mysterious magician.  A special gift is given to Clara by Dr. Drosselmeyer, a wooden Nutcracker.  Once the party has ended and all are tucked in for the night, Clara returns to the living room.  At the strike of midnight giant mice appear and begin to attack Clara as she clutches to her Nutcracker.  Life-sized toy soldiers arrive to the young girls rescue.  The King Rat has decided to take matters into his own hands as he attacks the now life size Nutcracker soldier but Clara strikes back with her shoe allowing the Nutcracker to defeat The King Rat!  The Nutcracker suddenly changes into a handsome prince and transforms the home into a winter wonderland.  The Snow Queen & Prince dance within the flakes as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince head off for the Kingdom of Sweets in their enchanted sleigh.

Act II begins with Clara and the Nutcracker Prince arriving in the Kingdom of Sweets.  Treats have been prepared by the cooks as the two are greeted by The Sugar Plum Fairy.  In honor of Clara's arrival The Sugar Plum Fairy has arranged a kingdom wide selection of entertainment for the guests as they eat.  A Spanish Dance, an Arabian Dance and a Chinese Dance are performed.  The Dance of the Mirlitons, a dance with Madame Bonnonaire and her children, a Russian dance and the Waltz of Flowers are also apart of the entertainment for Clara.  The Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince share the final dance as a grand Pas de Deux.  As the end of the gala nears Clara awakens to find Dr. Drosselmeyer and her adventure as only a child's dream.
Beautiful set design by Eduardo Sicango is matched with the music of Tchaikovsky as the performers dance a masterfully choreographed pair of acts featuring the wonderful costume design of Jorge Gallardo.  Music as classic as the ballet, most will immediately recognize the Nutcracker March and The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Our matinee viewing featured the wonderful dance artistry of Betsy McBride (Sugar Plum Fairy), Carl Coomer (Nutcracker Prince), Carolyn Judson (Snow Queen) and Lucas Priolo (Snow Prince) plus many more talented dancer/performers.

We woud like to give a special thanks to the Texas Ballet Theater and Bass Performance Hall for having us out to review this season's performance!

Thanks to CBC Music take a moment to enjoy Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker Suite.  Performed by The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Conductor Bramwell Tovey.

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