When you talk Holiday traditions, there’s the presents, the celebrations and the coming together – but this year, we started something new. This evening, I took Olivia to the premiere of the Nutcracker, presented by Alberta Ballet. From the opening scene Olivia was wide-eyed, filled with wonder (and 900 questions), completely enthralled with the show.
Her first ballet, one of the most important decisions that she faced this afternoon was what to wear. It just so happened that I had a sparkly dress hidden away for the occasion, that resulted in gracious thank-yous and love-at-first-wear. The special occasion, a new fancy dress and dinner for just the two of us before the show made for a ecstatic five year old.
Crafts in the lobby to make a special crown, she quickly found her way to the souvenir table – not a surprise to me. The souvenir shopping began- a sword, a tiara and a Nutcracker (for her sister) and she was almost finished. I tried to sell her on the autographed, ballerina-worn ballet shoes, but she was quick to inform me that they were old shoes, and no one wants to buy old shoes when she could buy a Nutcracker.
Excitedly, she held my hand when the lights when down. She asked if the performers were little kids. I answered her yes, and she asked if she could be in the Nutcracker next year. I told her that it could happen, if she worked hard, because in January she starts ballet classes. She adored the sugar plum fairies, and was delighted when Clara shrunk – and the show was just long enough to keep her attention, with the twenty minute intermission being the perfect length of time.
There were fits of giggles when the male performers dancing in their underwear – five year old giggles that had even me giggling, trying to shush her through giggles during the performance. The costumes were incredible, the night was filled with sparkle and the set was just right – but most of all, the company was incredible. because even more exciting than the fantastic performance, was watching the Nutcracker through the eyes of a five year old.
If you haven’t already – make sure that you add seeing a performance of the Nutcracker to your holiday-to-do List.