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Tis the season of The Nutcracker

December 24, 2010

 

 

 

As synonymous with Christmas and the holiday season as Santa, Nativity Scenes and jam packed shopping malls is Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker". The anecdotal lack of success of the original back in 1892 did nothing to halt this production from steam rolling its way into the hearts of our inner child, generations since it's inception. Whether you consider it a masterpiece or not, The Nutcracker is now a permanent fixture at your local ballet house during the month of December and most likely as part of the garnish found on your home's holiday decor. At some point in your life you will find a nutcracker under the Christmas tree, in your stocking, or wrapped neatly and stuffed into a shiny bag with your name on the tag at the office holiday gift exchange. In turn, it is a bucket list requirement to attend The Nutcracker at some point in your life. You owe the little fella that much.

 

I paid my dues this past weekend by congregating amongst hundreds of seasoned (cravats around necks, theater binoculars in hand) and unseasoned (patched blazers, jeans and Pumas) attendees to view a traditional mixed with contemporary version of The Nutcracker. It seems that composers race to complete their own unique interpretations of this classic ballet, with variations that span many cultures and genres. I personally witnessed an intermingling of Asian umbrella, Persian, and Russian dance, complete with a magician, drag queen, and a masticated limb of a gingerbread boy (courtesy of a rat) all rolled up into two acts. I was thankful for this unpretentious artful gumbo as it relaxed my mind in regards to the blazer and jean attire that haunted me in the mirror pre-show (I did however wear well polished dress shoes). The one and a half hour production was neither too short nor too long and the experience as a whole was...essential.

 

Without getting into the specifics of the composer, cast, theater house and so forth, know that this short thesis is more about the Nutcracker experience in general. You are not reading a review. This ballet is simply about a young girl's adoration for a toy that turns into a prince, about a dream that other dreams are made of. You are transported to a world of sugar plum fairies and you can't help but leave with the true sense of unguarded hope that this season is supposed to bring. Any version of this ballet worth its weight in frosted confections will accomplish this feat.

 

In your current location, regardless if you are a resident or visitor in town to see family, friends or attend a conference (how dare they send you at this time of year!), there is a good chance that The Nutcracker is playing somewhere near. You now have one "must-do" to pencil into the impending end squares of your desktop calendar. Below is a quick list of annual Nutcracker events to attend in some of YAHglobal.Com's partner cities. If you miss it this year, make sure you make it for the next 300+ days down the road. The experience will stay with you for a lifetime.

 

Ongoing performances in North America  *current YAHglobal.Com cities*

 

Canada

 

Vancouver, B.C.

Ballet B.C. presents Alberta Ballet's The Nutcracker @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre – Dec 29-Jan1/2011

 

U.S.

 

Honolulu, HI

Honolulu Ballet Hawaii The Nutcracker @ Neil S. Blaisdale Center – Until Dec. 18/2010

 

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas Ballet Co. The Nutcracker @ Summerlin Library Performing Arts Center – Until Dec 23/2010

 

New York City, NY

George Balantine's The Nutcracker @ Lincoln Center – Until Jan 2/2011

 

Miami, FLA

George Balantine's The Nutcracker @ Arsht Center – Until Dec. 23/2010

 

Wish You Were Here, Editor - YAHglobal.Com

post by : Editor - YAH Yaps

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In Sync For The Holidays

December 12, 2010

 

 

Here we are on a Saturday night, mid-December, right smack in the middle of the Holiday Season. I just left an online chat with members of YAH's team, dispersed throughout North America and Mexico. We're all headed to a Christmas party in our respective cities. Although we cannot be together at a (YAH) company sponsored office type shindig, we're still in sync, doing pretty much the exact same thing albeit in different time zones and/or climates. Some will be bundled in scarves, mitts and earmuffs on mountain top at an "apres ski" venue while others find themselves in flip flops and shorts with Christmas lit palm trees serving as the background. Yours truly will be somewhere in between, but I can tell you that an umbrella will be required. The dampness might put a slight damper on the early evening but things will pick up especially at exactly 11pm (PST) when we all agreed to do toast in unison, thousands of miles away from one another.

 

The point is that regardless of where you are, you have friends, family and loved ones all over the continent or world for that matter, who you are not able to be with on any given night during this season, yet you will all be sharing in the celebrations that this time of the year brings at the same time, at some point, even if you know it or not. So, follow the example set by our very own crew at YAHglobal.Com and coordinate with your own long distance "relations", pen (keyboard) pals, or that bold "expat" you admire so much and plan a specific date and time to raise glasses together. Then, as your New Year resolutions begin to formulate over the next two or three weeks, plan to visit at least one of these people within 6 months time. The further away the better. Do not treat this resolution as you would one the dozens you may have made before. This is not some 3 month gym membership that goes unused two weeks after popping the champagne at 11:59:59 pm Dec 31. When I say "plan" I mean it in the literal sense. Book a flight, hotel or at the very least put in your request for time off at work. We are defined by our experiences, not in our ability to save money for rainy days or for "toys". Instead of acquiring an extra inch of LCD TV dimension, increasing your "p" from 720 to 1080, and your "Hz" from 60 to 120 or 240 at some Boxing Day blowout, put that cash and credit to better use. Your memories will never be outdated or obsolete and you don't need to purchase an extended warranty to ensure this fact.

 

Wish You Were Here,  Editor - YAHglobal.Com

post by : Editor - YAH Yaps

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