San Francisco Ballet’s The Nutcracker

We just finished watching San Francisco Ballet’s The Nutcracker and now I wish I hadn’t given up ballet as a “plump”, balance-challenged 10-year-old.

As a disclaimer, I have to say that I’ve only ever seen one ballet before. That was Les Miserables at the Sydney Opera House. Except I’d woken up at 3AM that day to fit in a long run before work so by the time we sat down at the Opera House I could hardly keep my eyes open.
I’m calling this my first proper trip to the ballet then. If you’re up for the experience I’d definitely recommend going at Christmas time and seeing The Nutcracker. I’m not going to lie, apart from the traffic getting to the theatre, it all felt a little Victorian England to me.
Getting dressed up (for once), snapping my eye shadow brush mid-application so I ended up looking like I’d gifted myself a black eye, strolling through the freezing city streets, gazing at Christmas trees, mistaking protesters outside City Hall for carolers.
That’s all normal Victorian England Christmas stuff, right?
Anyway, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House is no Sydney Opera House but it’s none too shabby either. It first opened to the public in October of 1932 and it hosted the American premiere of The Nutcracker just two years later.
I’m showing my age a little here, but I adored all the little kids their with parents and grandparents, dressed in tutus, sequinned dresses and shoes, bow ties and suspenders. Even if one decided the right time to impersonate a mosquito was in the middle of the second act.
We sat next to a couple who were dressed to the nines. I’m talking full ball gown and suit. More power to them – if you’re going to do it you might as well go all out right?
As for the actual ballet, I wish I could be as eloquent with my words as they are with their feet, sets and music. The costumes floated and spun along with their dancers, and with every leap or pirouette, I felt sorry for the poor feet taking the hit.
When it started snowing so hard you could only see the stage where the dancers’ feet had cleared it, it was beautiful. There’s never a shortage of something to grab your attention – the set designers made sure of that.

And now that it’s time for bed, hopefully I’ll be dreaming of Sugar Plum Fairies.

19 thoughts on “San Francisco Ballet’s The Nutcracker

  1. Oh wow. I am not a ballet fan but I am a fan of going and viewing new things. This is one Christmas memory you could not get in Australia. It sounded (and looked) amazing from your description. Very special indeed! Thanks for linking up and supporting #lifethisweek and this old blogger friend!! Denyse xx

  2. I love the ballet – the last one I saw was Sleeping Beauty and it was magic. Growing up in London, my mum used to take me all the time, I'm a much better spectator than I am dancer! There's something really magical about watching a ballet, isn't there? I love that everyone gets dressed up too, it all adds to the sense of occasion.

  3. It's beautiful to watch, but I can see how it's for some people but not for others. I've been thinking about seeing this ballet since I moved to London but never got around to it, so it's great to finally tick it off the list, so to speak.
    Love your link up, thanks for having me Denyse! xx

  4. Ooh that sounds beautiful. London's so great for the theatre and culture! I never went as a kid and I suspect I probably wouldn't have sat still for that whole time as a child anyway. But I love how they make everything seem so effortless and easy. Almost as if it's natural that every human could dance like that…

  5. Oh what a special thing. My niece and SIL are very much into ballet and my niece danced from the time she was 2. (And did some ballet full time instead of high school.) I've seen The Nutcracker a few times, but I know they went somewhere on a visit to the US at Christmas to see it and continue to adore it.

  6. I can confirm that's definitely normal Victorian England Christmas stuff 😉

    I did actually go and see the Nutcracker in London (either Covent Garden or the Barbican, embarrassingly I forget which) and it was gorgeous. It's the quintessential Christmas activity if you ask me. Ballet dancers blow my mind, I don't know how someone does that with their body!

  7. The nut cracker is one of my all time favorites. I remember about 20 years ago I was sitting on the floor of my living room cradling a sick child and this masterpiece came on on the tv. I was hooked. And my sick boy even calmed down a bit. Well, ever since then I play the nutcracker every Christmas and drive everyone in the house mad!

  8. The Nutcracker is always a festive favourite in our household. The San Francisco opera looks beautiful. I also wish I hadn’t given up ballet, but no doubt the ballet world breathed a sigh of relief when I did! Thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids

  9. What a beautiful Opera House. I remember taking my then tiny 5 year old to see the Nutcracker at the Opera House in Copenhagen. Half way through she said “I have no idea what’s going on but I LOVE it” still makes me laugh! Thanks so much for joining in with #CulturedKids 🙂

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