Saturday, January 30, 2016

Roving Pittsburgher Report, The Nutcracker, A Holiday Tradition That's New Every Year

The Nutcracker, A Holiday Tradition That's New Every Year

by Pittsburgh Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith

A nutcracker is a tool designed to open nuts by cracking their shells. But truly in the theater at the family holiday tradition of "The Nutcracker" presented by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, no one cares with the presentation of The Nutcracker during the holiday season of 2015, the Pittsburgh Ballet definitely cracked the code of entertainment for young and old and sheer delight for all ages.

From the beautifully lit backdrops to the exotic flavor of the international dance numbers, the snow flower dance with the bees and the Chinese dragon, the audience can never tire of the enchantment of the Choreographer, Terrence S. Orr's  interpretation of Tchaikovsky's suite from the original ballet derived from the Story of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It seems as though every year that one attends, there is always something new and exciting that wasn't there last year in the performance or that you just notice this year.

And the set designer has made the scenery indigenous to Pittsburgh.  The Showdrop showcases a Pittsburgh home that once existed on Fifth Avenue in Shadyside.  Who can miss that the proscenium clock that was inspired by the famous, "Kaufman's Clock."  The Nutcracker at Christmas is not the only Pittsburgh tradition showcased in this presentation. What Pittsburgher would forget someone saying to them, "I'll meet you under Kaufmann's clock?"

The historic Pittsburgh flavor continues in the naming of the guests as you peruse the program, Mrs. Kaufman, Mr. and Mrs. Heinz and Mr. and Mrs.  Grandview, named for Pittsburgh's internationally known scenic Grandview Avenue. And the topography continues in the turn of the twentieth century rendering of the Snowy Forest.

Also the Magical Land of Enchantment backdrop's string of lights that swirls like and old-fashioned rollercoaster was inspired by visions of Pennsylvania's many amusement parks.

From the human sized rats to the trees laden with sweets and the palace, everything Clara and the audience see is for all intents and purposes made of sugar.  My granddaughter's favorite was the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and also the Arabian dance and the Chinese Dragon Dance. 

I personally have always loved the grand festival portion with its Celebration of Dances.  My favorites are the Dance of the Dolls and the waltz of the flowers with the baby bumble bees.  It's so wonderful how the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater includes its community of talented dancers and youngsters from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, truly making the event a community supported and populated tradition for the Pittsburgh area.

Joanne Quinn-Smith, Award winning internet radio broadcaster, blogger, author and internet radio and TV network editor and publisher. Joanne is the owner and CEO, Creative Energy Officer, of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, a successful Pittsburgh-based marketing company. Joanne is internationally known as the “Get Your Google On” Gal. But better known as Techno Granny™ to over one million accumulated online listeners worldwide. Joanne has created a revolutionary online NEW MEDIA platform in Internet broadcasting, blogging and other social media participation. JQS is the online publisher of, an online community magazine to disseminate the Positive News for Positive Pittsburghers. PPL Mag is Pittsburgh’s First Internet radio and TV network with syndicated channels and online radio and TV capabilities. 

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