Dance: New York City Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ is a triumph

NYCB Nutcracker
The Sugar Plum Fairy delights Marie and her young prince in New York City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”
Credit: Paul Kolnik

New York City Ballet offers a delicious and decadent experience in George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” running through Jan. 4. Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater — with its plush red velvet decor, champagne distribution center and “snowflake” photo booth — offers an air of indulgence that transports its audience to fantasyland. With more than 40 performances this winter, and 200 performers used, the show provides the company’s 50 School of American Ballet students an opportunity to shine and its more schooled stars to explore the maturation of their characters through repetition. “The Nutcracker” is a theatrical winter wonderland and an escape from reality that has been performed by NYCB every year since 1954.

“The Nutcracker” was the first full-length work that NYCB ever performed and is revered as one of the classics. This year, with costumes by Karinska, lighting by Mark Stanley and scenery by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, the company flourishes in all its glory.

One highlight is when little Marie and her Nutcracker prince walk hand in hand to the Land of Sweets in a phenomenally articulated shift from reality to fairy tale. Balanchine’s choreography shines as the snowflake ballerinas conjure a flurry in a crisp and nuanced performance where they sparkle as both individual movers and a unified collection of flakes.

Within the Land of Sweets, the Dewdrop prevails; principal dancer Ana Sophia Scheller is exquisite. She has an arabesque line that is poised to extend before your eyes until you no longer remember how she found her way into the position in the first place. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier shine in a series of supported pirouettes that finish in an ravishing back bend that begins a hair to off center and spins upright.

Despite a few bumps along the way — that snow sure is slippery — NYCB’s “Nutcracker” offers that sugar high that suspends time and satisfies your holiday season sweet tooth.

If you go

New York City Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’
Through Jan. 4
David H. Koch Theater
20 Lincoln Center Plaza
$67-$254,
www.nycballet.com

(Disclosure: Megan Kendzior is a student life assistant at the American School of Ballet, but she did not work on NYCB’s “The Nutcracker.”)


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Local

VIDEO: In Israel, Michael Bloomberg calls Wolf Blitzer…

CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked if the billionaire, three-term former Mayor Michael Bloomberg thought there might be political reasons for the FAA's decision.

Local

Advocates say MTA has room to improve service…

Advocates released a new study that suggests low-tech tweaking of subway posters and higher-tech fixes to improve the service interruption experience

Local

Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud…

Police have arrested seven people on charges they were tied to an international ring that defrauded eBay Inc's StubHub online ticketing service of some $1.6 million, the latest in a…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

Movies

Dakota Fanning's indie growing pains on 'Very Good…

Dakota Fanning on her latest "Very Good Girls."

Entertainment

Britney Spears launches new lingerie line and fans…

Women everywhere can say that they are not that innocent when Britney Spears launches her new lingerie and loungewear line. “Every woman should feel confident…

Arts

Artist Fiona Yang creates stunning 3-D murals that…

Vancouver-based artist Fiona Tang creates large-scale murals of animals that appear three-dimensional.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

NFL

3 storylines to watch as Jets open training…

Jets head coach Rex Ryan might be in for an even tougher job in 2014 after arguably his best coaching job last season.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…

Style

Jennifer Oz LeRoy tell us how to lunch…

Jennifer Oz LeRoy tells us what to pack for a day in the surf and sand.

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Wellbeing

Marijuana lube is a real thing

Heighten your sexual experience by actually getting high. Foria, a cannabis-infused "sensual enhancement oil," is now on the market, kind of — residents of California…