THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

<em>The Nutcracker</em>&nbsp;from Dallas Ballet Company

Review: The Nutcracker | Dallas Ballet Company | Patty Granville Arts Center


Holiday Simplicity

The Dallas Ballet Company enchants with a Nutcracker that keeps it clean and simple at the Granville Arts Center.



published Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Photo: David Harris
The Nutcracker from Dallas Ballet Company

 

 

Garland — Keep it simple, stupid.

It’s an oft-used phrase that transcends context, and never is it more appropriate than referring to The Nutcracker. With a purposefully hectic party scene, a tense battle, plenty of fluttering snowflakes, and loads of dancing ambassadors, the stage and action can easily become overwhelmed.

Enter Dallas Ballet Company (directed by Brent and Judy Klopfenstein), whose recent offering of the ballet at Garland’s Granville Arts Center epitomizes the saying like a nice kiss on the cheek. Even with one of the largest casts in the Metroplex, they manage to present a delightfully clear Act I with an equally notable showing of abilities in Act II.

Like most pre-professional companies in the area, they enlist the help of stellar dancers from top-name companies, with April Daly and Miguel Angel Blanco from the Joffrey Ballet returning as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier, respectively. Gymnast Terrence Martin reprises his role in the Arabian for the 18th year in a row, and local actor Randolph McKee brightens up the stage yet again as Herr Drosselmeyer. Dallas Ballet Center alum Jason Fowler also lends his expertise as guest choreographer.

Photo: David Harris
The Nutcracker from Dallas Ballet Company

It’s the story of Clara Silberhaus (Rachel Harris) enjoying her family’s annual Christmas party and receiving a nutcracker doll from Drosselmeyer. Her dream that night begins with a battle between the Rat King and Nutcracker Prince, with their respective armies, and culminates with a walk through the Kingdom of Snow and on to the Land of Sweets, where she’s entertained by a plethora of dancers.

A number of elements contribute to the success of the party scene. Movements time perfectly with the music, further adding to the entertainment factor, and simple choreography and staging combine with deliberate pantomime, making for an easily readable story. Even in times where the stage feels crammed to the max, the focus manages to stay on the important narrative moments.

The dancers also have obvious training in performance and presentation, an aspect missing from many younger dancers. Beaming smiles become infectious as the performers instill a sense of joy in the patrons, and performers are dramatic without being overdone.

DBC seems to have no shortage of talented young men in their ranks, and Isaac Hileman as the Nutcracker Prince especially shines. Impressive pirouettes belie his young age, and his performance quality never falters.

As the Snow Queen, Olivia Mann takes a captivating approach to her role. A frosty winter ruler she is not, as she avoids the delicate smile typical of most lead ballerinas and instead goes full-on Broadway with her performance. She’s quite an accomplished technician, but her varied facial expressions and brilliant smile almost make one forget that aspect. Because she has quite a bit of stage time, that shining performance quality becomes a bit overbearing towards the end, but her time on stage is still one of the best moments of the show.

Snow ensemble choreography tends towards simplicity, as do the costumes, which resemble something closer to lyrical dresses rather than classical or Romantic tutus. Timing could use some work, but the nice floor patterns make up for it.

Act II is a bit more of a mixed bag, but still maintains the quality of the first half. Usually with these types of companies, the dancers struggle with precision and timing issues, but this group seems to be more on target with their movements than expected, although timing concerns still frequently pop up.

A feisty Spanish ensemble in stunning blue and brown costumes exhibits nice lifts. The Arabian divertissement focuses on Martin’s abilities, with supple displays of flexibility from Lanie Jackson and Charlotte Kelsey. Lydia Jekot as the lead Chinese dancer handles the difficult task of successive pirouettes from fifth position with ease and control.

A group of Russian Babas gets the audience clapping to the beat with flying jumps and quick coffee grinders. The Dance of the Reed Pipes has a surprisingly large corps of dancers, which would be cause for some concern, but again, simplicity wins. Annie Corley and Allison Riffe aptly execute the most difficult choreography as the lead dancers here. The “aw” moment of the show comes with Mother Ginger (Gloria Ewerz) and her gaggle of miniature bakers who enter the stage from a slide.

The Waltz of the Flowers in any Nutcracker is usually a hit or miss. Most companies employ intricate choreography, and when a quick tempo and longer length is thrown into the mix, it can be complete stunning or a mess. This one tends somewhat towards the latter. It has some impressive moments in the corps and duets, but as fatigue sets in, the picture turns fuzzy.

Daly and Blanco display a lovely controlled yet luxurious duet, as if they truly are defying gravity. Daly employs some lovely nuances amidst the traditional choreography of the “Sugar Plum Fairy” solo, and Blanco partners her with ease, especially in the final lift of the grand pas de deux.

It’s a good show to catch if you’re in the Garland area, but you should probably get your tickets early when it comes around again. A huge cast equals a packed theater, but it’s well worth it. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Holiday Simplicity
The Dallas Ballet Company enchants with a Nutcracker that keeps it clean and simple at the Granville Arts Center.
by Cheryl Callon

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit