Preparations for this year's Nutcracker looked a little different - for both Hallie and me - than in years past. For me, I stepped up my volunteer game as right-hand woman to our Publicity Chair (or Assistant to the Regional Manager, as I prefer to be called). I believe I put in more hours this year than in the past four years combined, and because of that I felt even more invested in this production. For Hallie, she danced through (what I now know was) often excruciating knee pain for the first two months of rehearsals, and since then has been working incredibly hard in physical therapy and on her own to be "performance ready" by opening night. Thankfully, she was ready, and she did a beautiful job on stage.
This year Ballet Brazos welcomed professional dancers from the New York City Ballet, guest artists from across Texas, and pre-professional ballerinas ranging in age from eight to 18 from throughout the Brazos Valley. The professional dancers and guest artists turned in stunning performances as I expected they would, and the pre-professional dancers demonstrated their natural talent as well just how hard they have worked throughout the last four months in preparation for taking the stage. Combine the exceptional dancing with beautiful sets, stunning costumes, and a world-class stage and you have a spectacular show, one of which Ballet Brazos, the dancers, and the community can be proud.
I don't rave about Ballet Brazos' The Nutcracker because Hallie just danced for the fifth time, or because Tom crushed it in his now recurring role as "master of sleigh lights", or because I have a vested interest in the success of the show. I rave about Ballet Brazos' The Nutcracker as someone who, as of six years ago, couldn't stand to watch ballet (true story) but has come around because the production is just that good. I feel incredibly lucky to live in a community that can support a ballet-focused nonprofit organization as well as three shows in a 2,500-seat auditorium.
We don't have any professional pictures of the shows yet, but here's a glimpse into the fun we had...and why we'll do it all again next year.
College Station and Bryan Library Storytime Performances
Downtown Bryan First Friday Outreach and Publicity
|After a long dress rehearsal earlier in the day, I took a short break from my |
publicity and backstage duties to watch one of the shows from the audience.
|With my buddy (and sometimes boyfriend) Cullen.|
|Polichinelles on stage.|
|Polichinelles on stage.|
|My little poli.|
|Greeting guests, passing out candy canes, and taking pictures |
(here with Ms. Christi) to welcome patrons to the theatre.
|Backstage selfie, right before she went on stage for final bows.|
|It was so fun to see the hugs and celebrations that took place after the curtain |
fell on the final show. (I happened to capture Hallie literally jumping for joy.)
|The sweetest polichinelles and their Mother Ginger.|
|Hallie and Kara's teachers came to see them dance!|
|With the Nutcracker Prince and their friend, Lexi, as Clara.|
|With Dew Drop Fairy, Snow Queen, and Lead Marzipan from Ballet |
Brazos and Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier from the NYC Ballet.
For those of you who've followed Chasing Roots for a while and are therefore probably wondering...yes, the tradition of Will bringing flowers to his sweet girl continued.