Thursday, December 15, 2011

Waltz of the Flowers and Sugar Plum Fairies: A history

Ah, December.   For me this crazy month means the usual holiday mayhem, but also two family birthdays (hi Al and Dad!) and, since 2001, a Nutcracker performance

Regular readers will recall that in 2001, Hannah, Ashley and I took a trip to the Nutcracker.  You see, Pannie received a ballet subscription from her parents earlier that year: two tickets to several different shows.  Being the trio that we are, we traded in the 2 Nutcracker tickets and paid the difference in order to get 3 together.  We were in the very back row of the top tier at the Kennedy Center.   Not ideal seats, but a lovely show with friends.   I had never seen the show so it was all amazing to me.

In 2002 we planned a repeat evening.  All three of us would see the Nutcracker and take a break from studying for finals, thus beginning a college-long tradition at the holidays.  Only it did not happen that way.   Ashley's grandpa became very ill, and she had to fly home to Missouri just before our show.  Much to our dismay, Pannie and I went without her (my boyfriend, now husband, Michael took the 3rd ticket).

Sadly, Ash did not return to school the following fall.   Pannie and I continued our ballet tradition, though it was not quite the same.   I believe we decided to get slightly better seats, in 2003 and 2004, however.   You can only see so many consecutive shows in the top tier before you start to wish you could see their faces a bit better.

Upon graduation in 2005, we both got jobs in DC, and thus continued our tradition.   Between 2001 and 2007 we saw performances by the Bolshoi, Kirov, Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and The Washington Ballet.  All are lovely in their own unique ways, though Pannie and I have a soft spot for ABT.

In 2008 tragedy struck.   I moved to Florida in May, which meant No! Nutcracker! Performance!   I tried to soften the blow by sending Pannie nutcracker ornaments but it did not work.   We had broken tradition and it was sad.

In fall 2009, soon after getting married, I received an email from Pannie.
In other news: I think you need to come visit this fall/winter.  We need some roommate bonding time--I am in withdrawal.  I'm starting to receive info about this year's Nutcracker performances, and I must say, it rather sucked not to enjoy holiday festivities with you last year.  I'm just throwing that out there for your consideration.

She sure knows how to twist my arm.  The good thing about traveling between Thanksgiving and Christmas is that airfare is rather inexpensive.  Relatively speaking.  Bonus points in 2009: Pannie had a new job and got FREE tickets to the Washington Ballet.

Last year, as you know, we were in Ithaca, NY.  It was cold.  But Michael finished finals the week before the Nutcracker performance, thus requiring us to make a slight diversion to DC before ending up in Ohio for the holidays.   Note: I think we both look exhausted in this photo, but I cannot figure out why!  Anyway.   We are cutest when we do not look like we've been up 3 days in a row

As we are back in the Sunshine State, once again in October I got an email from Pannie

Apropos of nothing...Nutcracker tickets are on sale today.  
Just throwing that out there.  :)

I checked airfare and things were not looking great initially.  However, eventually the expedia travel Gods smiled upon me and I found a decent ticket.  Luckily there were decent seats available for a performance, and we were set!  

Last Friday we celebrated seeing our tenth performance of the Nutcracker.  

Fittingly, it was ABT, with brand new choreography and set design.  And, even better, we were sitting next to 8-year-old Paige and her grandma, who was taking her granddaughter to her very first ballet performance.


Hannah said...

Don't forget Joffrey! We saw the Joffrey Ballet at some point, too.

Predictably, I love this entry...though we do have a tendency to look tired in these photos. Perhaps because we're up talking into the wee hours the night before.

A. SK said...

I'm coming next year...just setting the intention now!

Jules said...

1) Why do I always forget the Joffrey? It has been added.