Carolina Ballet's The Nutcracker
Ok, so I didn't take this picture. I used the press information for Carolina Ballet's The Nutcracker to get it. But I think it is a perfect shot to show you how fantastic this holiday event is for kids.
Let's face it, we like our children to get some culture in. And nothing speaks high culture better than ballet (except maybe opera). The Nutcracker is full out fun, too. So this is a great fit for parents and kids.
I have either danced in or attended The Nutcracker every Christmas season since the age of 9,, which means I have seen some shows! Since moving to Chapel Hill years ago DH & I have always attended Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker. And it is great. DH even looks forward to it every season now.
The performances we have been to are always jam-packed with children. Children of all ages. Not that we'll be taking C this year since he still seems too young to us (18 mos), but it really just depends on your child, I suppose. The entire performance hall is filled with laughing, crying, shouting, and talking. That is part of the enjoyment of the event to me. It also means as a parent you don't have to feel like you need to keep your child silent.
The Carolina Ballet does a great job of making this a show for kids. The tale is classic: Clara receives a Nutcracker doll that comes to life and takes her on adventures. Carolina Ballet casts a lot of children in the show for the first half (with the party scene and the battle scene between the toy soldiers and mice). For the second half there are gymnastics, high leaps, little kids dressed as truffles, and waltzing flowers. Pieces are short and change quickly. The story is pretty easy to follow.
This is still a professional ballet company so there will be moments devoted to just dance (such as the snow scene and the Sugar Plum Fairy's ethereal dance). Those can get slow to some kids, but you may be surprised at how interested a lot of the children are. Give it a try!
At the shows the Carolina Ballet does at Memorial Hall the Nutcracker himself shows up and stands at attention for photos outside the building beforehand. I assume they do this at the Raleigh shows as well.
This is definitely a wonderful family tradition to check out. The Carolina Ballet is a gem in our area. The Nutcracker is a Christmas tale of magic. It's a win-win.
Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker 2010
Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall
Dec 4 & 5
Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium