This last week we brought The Nutcracker to The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Despite a few bumps in the road, the trip was extremely successful. We performed seven shows for sold out crowds, usually on their feet for the curtain call. We received a great review from Sarah Kaufman of the Washington Post, who came to the opening night performance. Click here to read the review.
Nine of the dancers, including myself, arrived in Washington on Monday evening. On Tuesday we were blessed with beautiful weather as we visited the famous monuments and memorials in D.C. That evening, the nine of us took class and worked through the ballet at the theater, mainly to familiarize the local kids with the party parents, mice, prince, etc. The children had been working on the ballet in D.C. for a while, though not with any of the company members, of course. The rest of the company and BWII arrived that night around 11pm with a tough day ahead of them. Wednesday consisted of ballet class, a dress rehearsal in the afternoon, then our opening night show that couldn’t have gone better (well, I suppose the show could always be better, but it was pretty darn good). We only had one show each on Thursday and Friday but our afternoons were consumed with class and rehearsals in one of the Kennedy Center studios. We closed out the long weekend strong with two shows each on Saturday and Sunday.
One of the nicest things about touring is performing for a crowd that love what you do, even though they don’t know you and haven’t ever seen you dance. After the shows, local audience members told me that they have seen many companies come through the Kennedy Center performing The Nutcracker year after year, but Ballet West’s Nutcracker is their favorite. Being able to bring our company to such a prestigious venue and receive such amazing compliments after every show is truly a testament to the caliber of the company.