The Nutcracker: Miami City Ballet Holiday Tradition Still Has Power to Awe
This year I sat in the third tier at the Adrienne Arsht Center for a more panoramic perspective. Up there, most of the rows were taken by parents or grandparents with toddlers in enormous tulle skirts with velvet bodices. The costumes worn by these tiny ballet fans rivaled those of the little girls and boys playing party guests on stage.
But the Nutcracker kids were hard to beat for adorable. My favorite part was the parade of angels that opens the second act, where little girls in wings glided across the stage, beaming so wide you could sense their excitement from the balconies.
The first act of The Nutcracker sets up the story of little Marie, who receives a toy nutcracker for Christmas. The second act is when most of the dancing happens: the fantastic creatures in the realm of the Sugar Plum Fairy come out to dance for Marie, which is a great excuse for showing off Miami City Ballet's talent.
The corps made Balanchine's well-known Snowflake and Flower formations seem fresh and wondrous.The women especially are allowed to shine. Marzipan Shepherdess Jennifer Lauren looked like a Degas painting come to life. Dew Drop Jeanette Delgado thrilled the crowd with her vigorous turns and charisma.
But the dancer who most stunned the crowd, as she so often does, was Jennifer Kronenberg, eliciting gasps in the famous moment when the Sugar Plum Fairy hovers in arabesque while her Cavalier (Carlos Miguel Guerra) draws her, as though gliding on ice, across the floor.
That's what's made The Nutcracker such an enduring tradition: you may know what's coming, but the beauty of Miami City Ballet's execution astonishes just the same.
The Nutcracker runs through Sunday, Dec. 18 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. (then moves to Broward and Palm Beach); tickets range from $20 to $68. Call 305-929-7010 or visit miamicityballet.org. Tickets can also be purchased at Arsht Center, 305-949-6722 or arshtcenter.org.
--Celeste Fraser Delgado, artburstmiami.com
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