Image | Sarah Ferguson
The Richmond Ballet’s Norfolk performances also include local students, giving many area children the fantastic opportunity to be a part of this production. “It’s nice to do it because it’s my kids from the Governor’s School, and kids from the studio,” Todd reflected. “There are 11 from Governor’s School and 17 from TRD (Todd Rosenlieb Dance). Overall, there are 85 local students who are in it from 24 different studios.”
Drosselmeyer not only brings the magic, but he is the thread that weaves the story together. He inspires the imagination of the children and engages the adults into the excitement. “He runs the whole scene, basically. [As Drosselmeyer] you have to make sure that you tell the story in a way that really conveys to the audience this magical transformation that is about to occur.” Todd said. He later commented, “I think [Drosselmeyer] serves as a bridge, both for the audience and the cast on stage, between adults and the children; that’s a great role. It’s for both sides of the proscenium.”
The ballet first premiered on December 18, 1892 in St. Petersburg. Though moderately received at the time, the ballet gained momentum in the mid-1900’s. San Francisco Ballet was the first company to present a complete version of the ballet in the United States almost 70 years ago, on December 24, 1944.
All ballet is magical, but the Nutcracker has a level of magic that goes beyond. The liveliness of the Christmas party shenanigans; the drama and suspense of the battle scene; the sparkle of the snowflakes; the transformation of the Nutcracker Prince and the journey to the Land of the Sweets … This weekend, I know there will be many in the audience, adults and children alike, who will be gazing up at the stage, captivated by and drawn into the ballet’s wondrous world for the first time.
It’s all about the magic.
Nutcracker’s opens on Dec. 12 at Chrysler Hall. For more info, click here.