There are endings (like dead poinsettias–see Jeremy’s post yesterday) and beginnings. Today was one of the first rehearsals for The Nutcracker Ballet at the Carroll County Dance Center. I know this, not because I have a little ballerina in my family, but because I met a lovely ballerina in the checkout line at the Safeway. This birthday girl (she turned seven today!) was purchasing a birthday cake and snacks to share at her very first rehearsal for The Nutcracker 2012.
She proudly explained that she is both an Angel and a Polichinelle in the performance. When I looked rather blank, her mother told me that the Polichinelles are the clowns that come out of Mother Gignogne’s gown–which I do remember–in the performance. The dance is often called “Mother Ginger and her children” or the “Dance of the Clowns” or “Les Polichinelles.”
With talent and hard-work, this young lady may move up the ranks flowers, Chinese dancers, snowflakes, and soldiers to Clara or the Sugar Plum Fairy herself. My neighbor, who is now a professional ballerina, got her start in just the same way. Often, in these performances, there can include upwards of 100 dancers. Thinking about the number of costumes, set pieces and rehearsals is mind-boggling.
Jeremy and I spent the summer telling our listeners and readers to get ready for Christmas, and these dancers were doing just that: they auditioned in the heat of August for what is one of our most beloved Christmas traditions.
The scheduled performances weren’t up on their website, but I included a link to the dance center for us to check back.
The photo here is of Mother Gignogne (also called Mother Ginger) and the Polichinelles another Nutcracker Ballet performance at the Oregon Ballet Theatre.