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Suzit42

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Reply with quote  #1 
My mom, my sisters, my DD16 and I have been going to The Nutcracker in our downtown for decades. To my knowledge, it is the most "professional" performance in the area that also uses a live orchestra. When I say "professional", I mean that most of the dancers onstage are paid and members of the sponsoring dance company. I know that 75% of the kids dancing in it are local volunteers, my DD did it one year. I have always loved ballet, but never took classes. Now that I am a slightly educated dance mom and DD has six years of ballet, we both realize that this production is charming but we need more choreography and technique onstage. We are in the Midwest and willing to road trip. Does anyone have a recommendation? TIA
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mackiecat

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Reply with quote  #2 
It would be a bit of a hike but The National Ballet of Canada's production is amazing show! And your dollar is worth almost 40% more there.
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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #3 
Kansas City ballet has a great reputation. I haven't personally gone to see their nutcracker but I've sent other ballets that thier company has produced and they have been well done. They are definitely a rising star in the American ballet scene. I went to see the Moscow ballet (traveling company) a few years ago and it was really good too...but no live music. I haven't heard good things about St. Louis ballet...but I have no first hand knowledge of the company. I want to try and see one of thier shows this year so I can speak of them first have.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #4 
I have not seen any of these in purpose, but I would think about BalletMet, Joffrey Chicago, and Cincinnati. 

I am not a fan of the Moscow Ballet that travels around the US, but that's me (I am an admitted dance snob).

Why not take a big road trip to NYC and see NYCB? Or any of the other Balanchine Nut's? They will all have strong technique because of the nature of the Balanchine Trust. NYCB, PA Ballet, Alabama, Oregon, Miami City and PNB. 
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Hopscotch

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Reply with quote  #5 
I would second Joffrey Chicago and BalletMet. I've seen one's Nut and have seen dancers from the other in something else, and I would think either would be quite good. In the past Joffrey has had a touring company for the Nutcracker (covered cities like Minneapolis and Cleveland) but I don't see any information on that this year. 

If NYC is too far a drive (two days from where I am in the Midwest!), St. Louis Ballet does a recreation of NYCB's Nut - the talent won't be the same but the look and production is similar. They are a Balanchine style company, and I believe the director danced for NYCB.

We went to Kansas City Ballet's Nutcracker a few years ago--my dancer was not impressed. (I think the quote was, "Mom, our student company is better than that mess.") For a number of reasons I think it was just an off year, though, and I understand this year's production is a new version. 

Depending on where you are, Ballet West might be a shorter trip than something out East. I don't know anything about their Nutcracker but they generally have a decent reputation for talent.



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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #6 
To me, it begins and ends with New York City Ballet's Nutcracker. There are children that actually dance well in it, but the production doesn't cater to the children (i.e., doesn't feel like a recital). There are usually some great hotel deals between Christmas and the 31st.
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mom2tall

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Reply with quote  #7 
KC Ballet has a relatively new director and they are doing a brand new Nutcracker this year. DD was at their summer intensive and some of the older girls learned/performed the new choreography. It might be one to try next year once the wrinkles are out.  My dad is seeing it soon so maybe I'll be able to report back although he's not really a dance aficionado - yet anyway [wink]
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kr12

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Reply with quote  #8 

Also a vote for Joffrey Chicago.  DD is dancing in this again this year. All the main roles are played by members of the company, with the kids dacning minor roles.  The show opens tomorrow.  The company just recently got back from touring the show at the Kennedy Center in DC. 

This is the last year of Robert Joffrey's version on the nutcracker, as the company will be getting an entirely new version by Christopher Wheeldon next season.

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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hmmm... sounds like a trip to Chicago next December is in order! Would love to see what Wheeldon does with Nutcracker!
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #10 
I second BalletMet and Oregon Ballet Theatre.  DD has danced in both.  I'm partial to the Balanchine version at OBT and BalletMet's may have changed since DD was there, but they are both really, really good.  (OBT isn't exactly Midwest...)
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judie

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Reply with quote  #11 
Not excited about new Joffrey Nut next year, but I know Members are excited about doing something fresh. Thrilled that DD was part of it before she got too tall. It is a classic production and the dancers are beautiful.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
Hmmm... sounds like a trip to Chicago next December is in order! Would love to see what Wheeldon does with Nutcracker!



Chicago is awesome in December! 
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2tall
KC Ballet has a relatively new director and they are doing a brand new Nutcracker this year. DD was at their summer intensive and some of the older girls learned/performed the new choreography. It might be one to try next year once the wrinkles are out.  My dad is seeing it soon so maybe I'll be able to report back although he's not really a dance aficionado - yet anyway [wink]


Hope it's awesome.  Our old ballet mistress left last year to become the KC Ballet mistress.  Her husband who was a Colorado Ballet dancer left this year to join her.  They are both accomplished and amazing people.
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Shaylenek

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Reply with quote  #14 
The ones I know that haven't been mentioned but have live symphony are Colorado Ballet in Denver and Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company in Nebraska Dec 19th weekend (but it is mostly students).  Otherwise in the Midwest you are in Chicago or Kansas City.  I don't know anything about St. Louis but it may be an option.

KC is getting good reviews.  http://www.pitch.com/kansascity/the-kansas-city-ballets-new-nutcracker-is-happily-maximal/Content?oid=6430147

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