The ballet holiday season has officially begun with Atlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker at The Kennedy Center. D.C. audiences are the first outside of Atlanta to see this theatrical multi-media production that premiered last year in the company’s home state. Yuri Possokhov‘s fast-paced choreography aligns appropriately with the non-stop action happening on the stage. At times the constant movement (most especially by the Mad Hatter-like Drosselmeier) makes it challenging to follow everything going on; and this is a shame as Possokhov is quite the story teller and it would be wonderful to have the opportunity to catch all the nuances.
For fear of revealing too many of the surprises for those readers planning on viewing the show, details of the performance will be kept to a minimum. To note – and be on the lookout for – are the clever use of a door and marionettes, as well as characters one wouldn’t necessarily expect to see in The Nutcracker. This being said, having an open mind is important to appreciating what this reimagining offers compared to the ones that tend more toward traditional. The celestial motif in particular seems to lend itself to more futuristic costume and set designs.
What is not be left out of this writing is reaction to Remi Nakano‘s interpretation of Marie as a child. She is a splendid actress whose expressiveness of face and body is a complement to her lovely dancing – essentially displaying the entire package that a young professional aspires to have. Of the company members, standout are Jacob Bush and Jackie Nash for their athleticism and charm in the French Dance and Fuki Takahashi for her enviable technical strength and delicacy in the Chinese Dance.