So we begin next week.. the Nutcracker Tour to North Carolina. First stop Morganton, NC – stop # 2 Franklin, North Carolina . Both city’s performances are already sold out. With 22+ years of CBT Nutcrackering, I’ll recount some of the behind-the-scenes realities and dramas that unfolded in the course of our tours. From the cheesy grins to the removal of props, from the corralling of children to the fear that one of the boys will bump right into Drosselmeyer and when there is live music into a tuba, and from the malfunction of the toy soldier’s box to the mad dash to take the final picture, Party Scene is essentially that. A party
When the professional dancers of Charleston Ballet Theatre take the stage at 7:30 p.m. next Friday to perform “The Nutcracker,” in Morganton they will be joined by local ballet students. The dancers will get the thrill of their young careers that night: performing onstage and mingling backstage with the seasoned performers. Local ballerinas will take on roles as jesters, cavalry, soldiers , angels and baby mice in the holiday classic. Every little dancers dreams…
These are Pearls of the tour…. what about the Perils?
So you think we’re seeing all these great places? Wrong, we don’t see anything. We are going to wake up on the tour bus outside the venue, , slightly disorientated, hot and in desperate need of a shower. You’ll basically see the area around the venue, a restaurant, a spacing rehearsal and that’s it. And it’s going to be like that for every single city in the world. It’s like being the detective in a surreal mystery. You’re constantly solving tiny little problems: misplaced shower gel, room keys, passports, and most probably more than anything. … sanity.
One of My rules of tour … is A Stash of great music. No songs about being out on the road. I hold to this high standard: Jackson Browne is not allowed to croon about roadies setting up, and it’s not okay for ABBA to sing about having to be a super trouper. I find the theme tacky. It is true, though, that being on tour can be a little grueling A major difficulty of it is that, as a choreographer/director , you are constantly being pulled between worlds. Being on tour and giving a piece of yourself to the audience every night could, through some eyes, be seen as engaging in a sort of affair. I mean, it’s best when it’s intimate, and you really can’t be in two places at once.
“You learn very quickly there’s no point moaning. We have an expression, ‘I do believe this was your chosen profession.’ It’s our way of saying, ‘Shut the hell up, you could be driving an ice-cream van.'”
And that being said I cannot begin to describe the immense high and satisfaction I feel in the final bows of each show. NOTHING compares to the sight of the theatre full of cheerful inspired audience members, and NOTHING can buy that sensation of complete happiness as I watch a standing ovation in progress A final effort to defend The Nutcracker might be based on the high quality of Tchaikovsky’s music, and you will get no argument from me on that point; it is indeed music worth listening to. I am reminded of the combined talents of every character in the Nutcracker, and ballet’s beautiful ability to touch people and to inspire. It’s in the humors, inside jokes, and anecdotes that I find relief, and it’s in that momentary final bow and then the load of the production to move it to the next city that I find the impetus and resolve to do it all again; to inspire both new faces and old friends.