Orlando Ballet: A Magical Holiday Tradition

(Photo credit: The Orlando Ballet)
(Photo credit: The Orlando Ballet)

Holiday traditions are defined by family, togetherness, dreams, toys, music, and dance. Gifting the definitions into one holly-jolly package (wrapped nicely by a red bow and resting near a trimmed tree), one not-so subtly comes to believe in the magic delivered by Orlando Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker.

Continuing at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre this Friday and Saturday evening, the Orlando Ballet culminates enchantment with an afternoon adventure on December 22nd. What makes this production unlike others in the past comes in the form of music, clearly setting an unparalleled standard before the curtain parts.

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Leslie B. Dunner, proved to be more than icing on the holiday cake. His mastery, his precision, and his control were fueled by a group of high intensity instrumentalists delivering an organic atmosphere where the audience lived every note, held onto every string, and became every moment.

The Nutcracker begins on Christmas Eve, where fashion, laughter, dance, and subtle rivalry have begun in a small German town as the Silberhaus family is hosting a grand party. During act one, our story becomes charmed as uncle Drosseimeyer enters, bringing his own brand of magic as well as three life-sized dancing dolls.

In addition to the dancing dolls, performed to perfection, Clara received a magical nutcracker. Tension ensues as a jealous Fritz tussles to take the nutcracker for himself. Fritz, Clara’s brother, not playing nice, steals and breaks the toy. Fortunately for Clara, Uncle Drosseimeyer repairs the Nutcracker, restoring peace and tranquility to a world we all long to belong… where dreams come true.

For the audiences delight, the remainder of the first act is highlighted by a mouse king (and his posse of dedicated small- to mid-sized mouse teasers) where a battling fort of toy soldiers, led by a transformed and quite handsome prince, protect dreams and Clara. The adventure continues through a wintery wonderland of dancing snowflakes to the Palace of Sweets.

Act two kept pace as Clara and the Nutcracker Prince arrive at the Palace of Sweets and are welcomed by the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy. To Clara’s dreaming delight, the land is filled with gifts and dancers from across the globe. During slumber state, ring-tingling visual pleasures come to life until Clara awakens to find her Nutcracker restored to its original size.

Through a brilliant combination of softness, light, dance, music, and imagination, several performances require detailed recognition:

* The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, specifically Mark Fischer, Horns Principal; Rosalind Beck, Harp Principal, and Karen Peters, Celeste.
* Eddy Frank, Costumes
* George Haywood Holder III, Sound Designer/Recording Engineer
* Orlando Ballet for another triumph

To rousing applauses, Orlando Ballet confirmed magic and appreciation resides in the heart of Central Florida, with or without a grand ball.

Bring tradition to your family, receive the holiday magic from the Orlando Ballet at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre:
Friday, December 20, 2013, 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 21, 2013, 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 22, 2013, 2:00 pm

Don’t miss out on an enjoyable experience for all,

Danny Huffman,
WONO, Career and Events

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