Saturday, December 15, 2018

Visions of Sugar Plums: Ballet Lubbock's The Nutcracker

by Shane Strawbridge

Ignoring any production of The Nutcracker is tempting. It is ubiquitous. It has been done before, and it will be done again, why not ignore it in favor of something shiny and new? Because that would be a big mistake. Ballet Lubbock’s production of The Nutcracker under the direction of Yvonne Racz Key brings enough technical prowess to earn your attention, and more than enough layers of emotion and magic to hold it from beginning to end.

One of the things that makes this Nutcracker so unique is that Ballet Lubbock uses a live orchestra for the show—a luxury that many companies throughout Texas have done away with in recent years. Under the baton of David In-Jae Cho, the Nutcracker orchestra and choir add a bit of magic to the ballet danced above them. It creates a performance that is richer, more present, and more alive than could possibly be achieved with canned music. Score another point for Ballet Lubbock.