If y'all will stand it, I have to make one last proud mommy post. My baby premiered in the Nutcracker Friday night. We're now three days into the run of the ballet, and everything is going beautifully. She is lovely in the role, and it has been worth all of her hard work and effort. She seems to be enjoying herself immensely.
In a week or so, I'll be back to my normal schedule of mom-ing, working, and arts & crafting. But, for the next little bit, I'm still a proud ballet mama.
Here is a back stage picture from tonight, and I've just had to cut and paste the entire review from opening night for y'all to see, since it mentions Ellie.
Alabama Ballet's Nutcracker performance a triumph for children of every age
In a December plagued by financial bailouts and unstable
markets, there's solace in the unbroken patterns of
holiday tradition. Since 2002, Alabama Ballet has milked
that comfort zone with George Balanchine's exquisite
choreography for "The Nutcracker," but this
year's production, which opened Friday at Samford
University's Wright Center, had an extra dose of
childlike escape from hard times.
The return of the Alabama Symphony after a year of
recorded music had a lot to do with it. The pre-concert
wonderment of curious children peering into the orchestra
pit was likely enough to spark the interest of future
Never mind that only 33 musicians can crowd into the pit
to play a reduced score of Tchaikovsky's music, or that
the amplification detracted from their naturalness. Under
conductor Les Fillmer's able guidance, all seemed well
On stage, even the tedium of the Act 1 narrative seemed
more bearable than usual. Roger Van Fleteren played a
playful, grandfatherly Drosselmeier. The mice in the battle
scene seemed scarier. The children's cast was sharp,
especially Ellie Vance's well-acted portrayal of Marie.
Jinsong Gao chimed in with a fine violin solo in the
"Sleeping Beauty" excerpt. The snow scene was
enchantingly danced by an ensemble of 16, as snow fell
profusely – sometimes in clumps – on stage and in the
The best dance is reserved for Act 2, capped in this
performance by Tatiana Ledovskikh. First exhibiting her
grace, strength and elegance in the Dance of the Sugar Plum
Fairy, she twisted, turned, then threw herself into the
capable arms of Cavalier Matthew Prescott with seamless,
Chinatsu Owada was a sensuous "Coffee." Kathryn
Gebler, always a striking presence, led a well-trained
bouquet of 14 flowers in the famous waltz.
This is a disciplined, well-trained company doing the best
"Nutcracker" there is. Dance aficionado or not,
you owe it to your inner child to see it.