Favorite

Clumsy ballet 

‘The Nutcracker’
Robinson Center Music Hall
Dec. 10


There is only one reason why “The Nutcracker” is still important to central Arkansas. The ballet incorporates many children of the community who aspire to perform. More young people are taken to the theater during this time of the year with the hope that they will be inspired to become active participants in the arts.

Ballet Arkansas has the best intentions in staging the yearly Christmas ballet, but, sincerely, how exciting can it be to sit still for three hours and watch a story about a little girl’s toy being broken and then watching the situation repetitively re-enacted in her dreams?

We have seen this production time and time again, so why not try to change it up a bit and make this performance a little more interesting to the parents or to the young people who are interested in the performing arts? Watching Israel Getzov conduct the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra was the only stimulating aspect of Saturday’s show, and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra gave a polished performance.

Technical director Warren Law did a great job conveying the picturesque 19th century lifestyle of an upper-class Christmas. The set changes were smooth and the costuming was enchanting. Everything was technically fitting except the quality of the dancing. Why was Clara was never on point?

Most of the time the music and the choreography just did not match. The excessive and over-dramatic pantomime was nauseating. Grace Tilley and Sara Sardelli better thank Jean Paul Jr.’s partnering skills or else they might have fallen flat on their faces.

There were so many missed opportunities. The casting of KATV’s Jason Harper as Mother Ginger was an interesting decision. However, it was appalling to see that KATV’s endorsement was taken so far to actually advertise in the middle of Tchaikovsky. The “Good Morning Arkansas” feature reporter lifted his guise as he/she, sneezed and then proceeded to blow his/her nose with a handkerchief that had a huge Channel 7 logo. I would think that organizations like Ballet Arkansas would know better.

If the television station actually cared enough to enrich the arts then they should have focused on donating money to pay higher caliber choreographers to better instruct the ballerinas. As for next year’s production, I suggest that KATV supply the company with a dramaturge. Do us all a favor and research Arabian, Russian and Chinese dance. Try to stage choreography that is not simply a bastardization of another ethnicity’s dance form.

At least, thanks to the ASO’s wonderful music, I was able to close my eyes and imagine my own version of “The Nutcracker.”

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jessica Sardashti

  • 50 years of Community Theatre

    What is theater? Spanish playwright Lope de Vega said it was two planks and a passion. The Community Theatre of Little Rock proves de Vega’s point. Despite limited funding and continually having to move from theater space to not-so-typical theater spa
    • Mar 16, 2006
  • Fun ‘Dates’

    “Bad Dates,” now at The Rep, is a fun, lively and clever play about a single mom’s attempt to balance her career and deal with the tumultuous and unpredictable dating scene in New York.
    • Mar 9, 2006
  • Perfect holiday gift

    The Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” provides the perfect family outing this holiday season.
    • Dec 8, 2005
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • An uneven 'Macbeth'

    Michael Stewart Allen as Macbeth carries the play.
    • Sep 17, 2015

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Latest in Theater Reviews

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Belk bowling, b-ball

    • Good analysis, something completely lacking from the daily newspaper's sports reporters/columnists.

    • on December 9, 2016
  • Re: Resurrection, reflection

    • http://hairtransplantncr.com/ hair transplant in delhi hair transplant ncr hair transplant cost hair transplant cost in…

    • on December 8, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation