Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blog Day 2

Okay... second day of the blog.

Had my semi regular walk with Angie (Culture Shock Director) Bunch this morning. We make an odd pair as we walk the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego. Neither of us lives there, but we love the area. There is also a KILLER hill that goes down into Old Town that serves well to remind us of our mortality.

Zipped off to rehearsal at SDB. Being Nutcracker season, we of course rehearsed Nutcracker.

A few Nutcracker insights.

At SDB, we have been doing it for 17 years. There are dancers who have been with us for quite a few of those years. Nutcracker is an interesting time as, we need to juggle who would best fit a part, who has been doing a part for years and who would grow by understudying or alternating in a part. Of course, the main concern is putting on the best show possible.

I will try to hit a point or two daily.

Let's start from the top...

The Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier.

Unlike most well known ballets, the two "leads" in the Nutcracker (the above young lady and her man), don't really have alot of onstage time. What they do have, however, are two amazing pieces of music.

The first is the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Tchaikovsky specifically wrote this for a novelty instument that he had recently heard... the Celeste. A sort of mini piano with a tinkling, frothy, lighter than air sound.

And the second is the Adagio to the Grand Pas De Deux, which is the dramatic highlight of Act Two. One of the most romantic repetitions of a repeating theme ever concieved.

So what does that leave us with. Two evocative pieces of music and two non-existent characters.

Tomorrow, I'll talk about how we bring these characters to life.

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