During “Waltz of the Flowers,” a part of The Nutcracker selection, the mood of rebirth and growth sept into the audience. The piece started very calmly with the dancers doing jumps about the stage. As the piece progressed, the jumps and leaps got grander and the movements became larger and more impressive, as the flowers “grew”. There were many long extended movements that slowly became faster and more impressive as the music grew louder. The dancers throughout the whole piece were smiling to show the growth of themselves, portraying a flower.
For “Russian Dance”, another excerpt from The Nutcracker, the music started loud and intense, and the movements that the dancer did mirrored the music. The dancer, as the song continued, did many twirls and jumps which gave off the impression of a glorious win. Each of the movements were fast and sharp, with many high jumps added in. The dancer was once again smiling which showed the victorious dance to celebrate his victory. In “Spanish Dance,” another excerpt from The Nutcracker, there was a bright red light which reflected off of the red shirt that the man was wearing and the red dresses that the two women were wearing.
There was overall red lighting and no exact spotlight, which contributed to the mood by giving off a more powerful feeling to the audience and an overall powerful mood. The mood helped the story because it progressed the story the Spanish Dancers displaying their talents. In “Waltz of the Flowers,” the pink and yellow light signaled a mood of rebirth, and the absence of a spotlight kept the focus on the group, not just a single dancer. The yellow and pink gave a mood of childhood and growth.
For the dance “Grand Pas De Deux,” the last excerpt of The Nutcracker, the clothing was simple, yet important. The girl was wearing a large tutu skirt and a body suit with tights, all in white. This attire gave off the appearance of a ballerina in a music box, and this suspicion was confirmed during the dance. The man wore a grey jacket and white tights. On his jacket, he had epaulets near the shoulders which gave him a regal appearance. One could assume that he was a prince of a king, or if not, someone who was high with their social status.
This did not add nor take away from the dance; it was a component that helped move along the plot but was not detrimental and distracting. In “Russian Dance,” an excerpt from The Nutcracker, the man wears a loose pink satin shirt, a black belt, tight black pants fitted at the ankle, and black socks. This outfit showcases nt colors which contribute to the victorious mood of the dance. The costume also allowed for the large leaps without any part of it taking away from the performance.
It is the outfit of someone who won, which is similar to the plot. For “Waltz of the Flowers,” an excerpt from The Nutcracker, the music was very slow to begin with, but slowly gained power and volume. The song began with a harp piece and then I was able to identify some trumpets and French horns for the main part, and then there were some clarinets which joined the cello for the reoccurring part throughout the piece. The music was very soothing and relaxing, and added a feel of elegance along with the feeling of growth.
The music certainly added to the piece because the dancers truly had choreography that matched the movements; for example, when the music gained speed, the dancers would perform more complex steps and when it was slower, they would perform extensions and things that were elegant yet not very intense. The music for “Grand Pas De Deux,” another excerpt from The Nutcracker had many string scales progressing downwards. As the piece progressed, it sounded as if flutes were added with the harp and strings.
It was very classical and poetic, along with being very slow and sweet. The music gave the piece a somber feel because the scales were consistently going downwards. The music added to the piece since it conveyed a mood of both despair and love. The choreography was also matched beautifully; the ballerina performed many turns during the point where the music grew louder and more intense. I liked the “Russian Dance” excerpt from The Nutcracker the most because it was very fast and intense. I loved the way the man effortlessly leaped about the stage.
It seemed as if all he did was effortless yet beautiful, and I was able to easily understand what he was trying to convey. My least favorite piece was “When We Fly”. I was able to understand that the dancers were attempting to portray birds, but I felt it was slightly jumpy; as one dancer would leave the stage, another would come back with enough time for an awkward moment to pass. There were many solos and group parts, and though it was interesting, I felt it was a little choppy and in that, it made me uncomfortable to watch. I learned that there’s a lot more to the story behind ballet than the choreography.
When I first saw a ballet, I thought that it would be simply choreography that told the story, but instead there are so many extra parts like costumes, lighting, and music. I recently after seeing this ballet saw Balanchine’s Nutcracker in New York City, and I was shocked at how the excerpts from Adelphi were different from Balanchine’s Nutcracker. When realizing this, I truly understood how ballet is open to interpretation – one person can look at something completely different from another. I thought it was very intriguing how different both ballets were, and also how many component can define a ballet.