I last saw the Nutcracker performed five or six years ago by the San Jose Ballet accompanied by a live orchestra. This year I had the pleasure of viewing the eighth annual performance by the Indianapolis School of Ballet.
The performance took place at the Scottish Rite Cathedral near downtown Indianapolis. Always intrigued by this structure, I have never been inside. For the Nutcracker, I only saw the auditorium—wood-lined with an impressive feel to it.
Although performed by students rather than a professional troupe, many of the dancers were quite good. And received rounds of applause in the middle of their dances. (I assume most of the audience members were relatives of the dancers.) The set was simple but it did the trick. I found that what I really missed was the live orchestra. (The sound guy ran into problems with the CD. Twice.)
I was a bit dismayed by my fellow patrons, but perhaps I am accustomed to different audiences. Less conversation and eating, more attention paid to the performance.
This rendition of the Nutcracker whetted my appetite for a more professional performance, not for the dancing—that was superb—but for the sets and the live music….and where I can lose myself in the performance rather than the conversation of others around me.