Tchaikovsky

'The Nutcracker' With An Alaskan Twist

Dec 23, 2017

When Melinda McAdams moved to the fishing community of Sitka, Alaska, in 1993, no one in town knew how to dance on pointe shoes. Now, generations of dancers are up on their toes and every few years, they take the Tchaikovsky classic — The Nutcracker — and give it a rural Alaskan twist.

This two-act ballet begins when a girl named Marie (Clara in many productions) is gifted a wooden doll at a Christmas party. After the clock strikes midnight, the Nutcracker, played by 18-year-old Kincaid Parsons, comes to life.

courtesy of Ballet San Antonio

The San Antonio Symphony and Ballet San Antonio are teaming up for another big project. That project is one of of the most popular ballets in dance history—Swan Lake, wherein a maiden’s been turned into a swan by way of a spell. Stager Dominic Walsh picks the story up there.

"The only way this spell can be broken is by an act of true love, and so she must find a prince who will love her and be faithful."

She finds one but then an evil player creates a costly deception.

The version of Swan Lake most often performed today premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, 120 years ago this month. The ballet had been staged before, but it wasn't a hit until choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov revised it.

Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev on tap

An easy description for the Mid Texas Symphony program at Brauntex Theatre Sunday afternoon is, 'music just right for children of all ages.'

"Every time I hear it, there is just such passion," says director David Mairs. "Whether I was playing it (on french horn), or conducting it, or even just listening, I think Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony is such a masterpiece, with hummable melodies!"