Friday, December 2, 2011

Good Pointe: The Joffrey Ballet's 'Nutcracker'

I was invited to the opening night of The Joffrey Ballet's 'The Nutcracker' at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. And that's where I was last night, with my two teenagers in tow. When I first got the invite I knew I wanted to take my girls – it's one of those holiday traditions I always dreamed of doing with my kids but never had the opportunity. I have however, managed to keep up a tradition of family bingo nights where we watch grandma take all of our money. Hey, not all culture is highbrow.

But to be honest, I wasn't sure how interested my girls would be. Even though they both attend performing arts schools and are knee-deep in dance classes and voice lessons and theater productions, they've both been lukewarm towards ballet. And then my 13-year-old said this when I mentioned I had taken them both to a performance of The Nutcracker at a junior college many years ago.

"Really? The only one I remember is 'Barbie In The Nutcracker.'


Oh no. She din'nt.

I knew then that we were in a cultural abyss and needed to start digging ourselves out. The ballet was just what we needed – I made them turn off Sister Wives, put down the People magazine and we headed out the door.

And it was a magical night.

I knew it would be spectacular but it surpassed all of my expectations. The dancing, the music (performed live by LA Opera's Orchestra), the costumes, just the sheer scale of the sets was breathtaking. I don't think my girls sat back in their seats once - they were just as mesmerized as I was. Although I have to admit, the reason for my 13-year-olds enthusiasm may have been a little dubious judging by this breathless review during intermission: "Man, those guys have nice butts."

That's okay – better to have visions of men in tight leotards embedded in her brain rather than Barbie and Ken performing the Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy.

But seriously, I literally had goosebumps throughout the show, and I know my girls were pretty speechless by the time it was over. I felt like we had just seen something so incredibly special and important and moving, and I was so grateful to have experienced it with them. In fact, we've become a little obsessed with it – we're talking about making it an annual tradition. Maybe we can talk grandma into putting down her bingo marker and coming with us.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   

An added bonus: It's a great time to visit the Music Center – the plaza is gorgeous, centered around a huge Christmas tree. Get a glass of wine for yourself, some hot cocoa for the kids and sit at one of the outdoor tables – that's worth a trip in itself.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  

The Joffrey Ballet "The Nutcracker"
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center
135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012    

Performance Schedule:
December 1 - 7:30pm
December 2 - 2:00pm and 7:30pm
December 3 - 2:00pm and 7:30pm
December 4 - 2:00pm
$34 - $125  

Purchase Tickets In Person:
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office
135 N Grand Ave. at Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90012    


By Phone:
Music Center Dance Information Line (213) 972-0711  

Group Sales:
10 or more, call (213) 972-8555 or email 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  

Pin It


Related Posts with Thumbnails