Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Memories Part II: The Nutcracker

When all the toys had been admired, Herr Drosselmeyer reached into his bag one more time and brought out his special gift for Clara. It was a toy soldier, very straight and tall, painted red, black, and gold. He had deep green eyes, a beautiful curled mustache and real silken hair. Best of all, his jaws could be worked to crack nuts to eat. From the first moment she saw him, Clara loved the Nutcracker more than any other present she had received. –story adaptation by Karla Burkitt

In early November LadyBug told me that they were adding a field trip for her class that had not been included on the list at the beginning of the year. When she told me they were going to see The Nutcracker performed by Ballet West, I contacted her teacher right away and asked if they needed any adult chaperons. I've been wanting to take LadyBug to see The Nutcracker for a long time. It is one of my childhood Christmas memories and I wanted to share that with her. For one reason or another I've just never done it, so I was really glad to find that they needed a few parents to come along.

Because this was an extra field trip {presumably because we got rained out at the Renaissance Faire in September, which I look lots of photos of but never posted about}, parent chaperons were asked to provide their own transportation to and from Salt Lake so they could save on the cost of buses and only take one bus for the entire 6th grade. Last week, LadyBug's teacher contacted me and asked if I would be able to take LadyBug with me. I think she was a little disappointed not to ride on the bus with her friends, but I was really glad to have her company.

We rode the light rail up to Salt Lake and joined LadyBug's class as they were dividing into groups for a quick stop at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. We only had time for the highlights, as determined by our tour guides {and it was wonderful; I'd love to go back} and then we walked around the corner to the Capitol Theater and were ushered into seats on the sixth row on the left side of the theater. I looked on-line and I'm pretty sure tickets for the seats we were in are over $200.

It's been a number of years since I've seen The Nutcracker. Mr. Bug and I went to see it when we were first married at this same theater. Our tickets then were fifth row center, and also a gift. I got a little teary as the curtain went up and though I knew the story, it was magical to see it again. They only performed the first act, which finishes with the Waltz of the Snowflakes and the Pas de Deux by the Snow King and Queen. It was so beautiful! The dancers were amazing and I feel so blessed to have been able to attend with LadyBug.

On our train ride home, I asked LadyBug how she enjoyed the ballet. She answered with a shrug and an, "uh, eh, uh," {think I don't know}. So I tried a different approach. I asked her to use a scale of one to ten, one being meh and ten being totally awesome. Her answer was eight! For the most part, she keeps her feelings to herself. Unless something is totally unmanageable for her and she has a meltdown, I usually have a hard time gauging how she feels. I was really glad that she enjoyed the ballet so much. I then asked her if she would be interested in seeing the whole ballet. She gave her usual shrug and made that non-committal I don't know sound. I tried the scale again; one being not interested at all and ten being super interested and her answer was a seven!

I don't know if we'll make it to see the whole ballet this year. There are several performances {by a different ballet company} close to us in the next two weeks, but I'm not sure if we'll be able to fit it in. I'd really love to, but it might have to be something to put on the calendar for next year. In the meantime, I'll be having Sugar Plum Fairy dreams.


Annelise said...

Sometimes I dream about pink hair bows and fluffy dresses but the number one reason I would love a little girl is so we can go to the Nutcracker. I'm glad you had a nice time.

Mary said...

It's this week-end in my Ladybug Daughter's town and she has two daughters in it! Grandma and Grandpa get to go this year, Usually it's just us girls. I never tire of the Ballet being a ballet student in my younger
days. My Mom had my Ballet class dance Swan Lake at my older Sister's wedding reception- WOW that brought out a memory I haven't thought about recently...