Words are missing from the Nutcracker Ballet. Or are they? That silence, little kiddies, is precisely where the enchantment begins.
Even though he can tell you the entire plot in 20 minutes or more, I prepare my 6-year-old for his premiere night at BalletMet’s, The Nutcracker, by explaining the absence of words. This puzzles him, because the primary way the details of this story have been fed to him is by word, via books, and books on CD; he reads stories to his own Nutcracker soldiers. We are playing games from the BalletMet website, watching a sneak peak, and I explain to him the long hours of practice, the skill and the commitment of the dancers.
And, I introduce him to the costumes…
(this one is my best shot)
The glittery costumes are just one part of the ballet tapestry that will hold him spellbound.
When I learned that Rebecca Turk, the Costume Shop Manager at BalletMet, was busy re-designing 40 new costumes this year,
I grabbed my camera, took my son’s hand, and we headed to the costume shop to get an up-close look at the details.
Each year, BalletMet works to upgrade at least some portion of the Nutcracker wardrobe.
Last year, the Rat King received a new fur-lined coat — made from what else? Cat fur.
(An inside joke… the Rat King doesn’t REALLY wear cat fur.)
Clever engineering will give the soldiers new room to fly this year. Rebecca has separated the jacket body, from the jacket sleeve – two pieces that appear as one. Now, the arms have the freedom to fly, twirl and jump without the constraints of constricting seams in a traditional jacket.
and hundreds of buttons
into each costume.
Hand-stiching is all that is required.
When he leaves the Nutcracker Performance, the night of December 12, my hope is that the costumes themselves will be just one of many layers that will enlighten him with the beauty of what we call art.