Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Washington Ballet's "The Nutcracker" (and Why Dressing for the Theatre Matters)

{BCBG dress, H&M blazer, Sam Edelman heels, Michael Kors watch}

Because it's Christmastime and I'm classy and junk, Kyle and I went to The Washington Ballet's "The Nutcracker" last weekend. That's right people, I'm about to review a ballet--shit just got real.

First of all, take a moment to appreciate my adorable ensemble. In a slight "tip of my hat" to the ballerinas, my dress has just a peek of tulle at the bottom and I wore my hair high on my head. A bun would have been too literal, so I opted for a pony tail instead. 

And I looked amazing. The same can not be said of other people.

What happened to getting dressed for the theatre? Look, I think society has allowed us to come pret-tay far when it comes to looking like you've just given up nowadays compared to times long passed (i.e., flying, church, work), but I don't care who you are, yoga pants are NOT welcome at the theatre. <--Do you see the way I'm even spelling the word? You probably should dress up just to read it!

Did you pay more than $50 for a ticket? Did someone hand you a playbill? Is someone wearing a costume on a stage?? Do the words on the building outside include "theatre"??? "Then why the crap are you wearing yoga pants and sneakers??" I wanted to ask the woman who strolled in mere minutes before the show started.

I know some of you might try to run to her defense in your comfortable rubber-soled footwear, but I don't care what the excuse is: she came straight from work, she's gained/lost a few pounds and can't find anything that fits, etc. My answer to all of these things? Plan better! I don't care if she wears her comfy clothes to Target or some children's sports game or something else equally depressing. I do, however, care that she have respect for the only place that truly asks patrons to dress up a little. Shit, she could have just swapped the sneakers for a pair of heels--I mean, Iiiiiiiiiiii probably wouldn't have been fooled by the pants, but I'm sure plenty others would have been. The point I'm making is this: the ballerinas you see on the stage twirling and pas de deux-ing in their point shoes and emaciated dancer bodies are in no way "comfortable." Why should you be?

End rant.

As for the ballet itself, it was amazing. Initially, I was concerned with the sheer volume of children in the show. I've seen a couple renditions of The Nutcracker in my day, so I'm well aware there are several, and in some cases many, children in the production, but this just had a lot. The first half moved a bit slow, but the kids had pretty good direction to be cute and entertaining, despite their lack of dance experience. Finally, the Snow Queen came on and that's where things started to pick up.
{The lobby, complete with tulle-lined awnings and signed ballet slippers}

I've never personally taken ballet, but I have seen Black Swan, so I'm pretty sure that makes me an expert on technique. That said, the dancing was beautiful. The choreography was also quite different, with what felt like fewer solo numbers and more giggle-worthy moments, but clean and graceful nevertheless.
Perhaps the most unusual part of the entire ballet was the extremely erotic rendition of the Arabian Dance. Usually, these dancers look like Aladdin and Jasmin, but these looked more like Pochohantas and Tarzan. And good god, was it sexual! I didn't mind, but I'm guessing a few parents in the audience might have had to explain to their kids where babies come from following the performance.
So yeah, the choreography and the dancers were beautiful, the sets were gorgeous, and the interpretation was new and fresh. Even Kyle enjoyed himself, albeit only into the second act. And mostly because of the kids dressed as mice and frogs and other woodland creatures sitting on the side of the stage being silly. But hey, at least he wasn't wearing yoga pants!


whitney said...

so i don't think i am ballet fan.

BUT i do appreciate something a little sexual every now and again on stage. so maybe i shall go check out tarzan.

we all know he was hotter than aladdin.

two words: loin cloth

done and done.


[did it work? i googled it]

Jenna | The Paleo Project said...

I agree, James took me to see Jersey Boys in NYC, and I mean okay it wasn't the NUTCRACKER, and it wasn't BALLET!! But, we're in NYC in the THEATER district. So, James wore a suit and I wore a dress. And we sat between a woman dressed like Roseanne and a man dressed like Peter Griffin. It was absurd.

Unknown said...

you look so cute! i saw the nutcracker years and years ago.. i think i was like 4. but i do remember what i wore, and was dressed up!

Unknown said...

ok i have so many opinions about this post (duh)

#1 - before you even talked about ur hair i was totally going to compliment the ode to the ballerina and say i love your hair in a high pony

and #2- for the love of god... have ppl no class, what is wrong with our society, I just had 2 babies, need to loose 20+ lbs and stay at home so i have no disposable income so if i can pull together a respectable outfit for the THEATRE then you can too ppl!!! we go a few times a yr to the hobby center and ppl look ok and its houston, then i went to promises promises on broadway last year... yes broadway and ppl were in track suits and jeans with t shirts??? wtf??

and #3 theatre is the only way to spell it, am i right here?

Lydia Armstrong said...

OMG this post nearly killed me. I am so jealous!! We have an amazing production of "The Nutcracker" here that I try to go to as often as I can, but I decided to skip this year to have more money for Christmas. *tear* I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Megan | Freckled Italian said...

I used to love going to The Nutcracker when I was younger! And I always looked forward to wearing a fancy little dress, too. I mean, I love yoga pants as much as the next slob, but I usually try not to wear them to anything that requires tickets and possible cocktails.

Dan @ Essentials of Nutrition said...

In regards to the dressing up to the theater bit.....A & men.

And tip of the cap to your man for taking you to a ballet. Nice work sir. Nice work....

Meg O. said...

Okay, so these comments are driving me nuts that they're all spelling theatre the wrong way. But that's because I'm a pretentious high school theatre director with tons of obvious credentials. Ha.

Anyway, you look so fab and I totally agree with you - people who don't dress up for the theatre really irk me! Now, if it's the community/HS theatre, that's a different story. But it's the professional freakin' Nutcracker, for goodness' sake!!

Raquel said...

Umm hello GORGEOUS! Love the outfit!!

And i'm freaking jealous you got to go see the nutcracker. Still trying to convince my boy to come with me!

Nicole said...

Really pretty outfit! I've seen the Nutcracker before and it was amazing! Looked really good, I had a chance to be in it once last year but I later hurt my leg :(

Come by and follow my blog please!!! :)

-N :)

Nicole said...

Really pretty outfit! I've seen the Nutcracker before and it was amazing! Looked really good, I had a chance to be in it once last year but I later hurt my leg :(

Come by and follow my blog please!!! :)

-N :)

ashlyn | nicole said...

i have only been to a few ballets in my entire life & one of them was the nutcracker! i have to say that it was absolutely beautiful. & I agree with you that when you attend a ballet it is really important to dress for the occasion.

loved your outfit btw!

my unrehearsed life

Chelsea said...

Big time dancer here soooo this post made me very happy. Also, I love reviews so that made me extra happy. I can't thank you enough for your rant. Seriously.

I think getting dressed up for the theatre, ballet, etc is FUN and I'm kind of tired of people thinking they can just casually stroll in. I mean, do they see the gold ceilings in that place?? Anyway, glad you enjoyed a fun-filled night at the ballet!

Coffee Cream and the Caffeine said...

You look lovely and nice heels !

Annalilly said...

I second your call for dressing up to go to the theatre.

LOLz to the Black Swan comment.

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