I grew up in San Francisco where going to the Nutcracker ballet performance was part of the Christmas tradition. Though I didn't go every year as a child, I went often enough that the music and the magic are deeply woven into my experience of Christmas. When Jennie Lou was a little girl, I wanted very much for her to have a Nutcracker experience, and now that I have a number of girl grandchildren, I'm determined to get everyone of them to the Nutcracker during the Christmas season at least once during their childhood.
So it was with great excitement that I headed to San Francisco and the ballet with Jenny, Taylor, and Candice this week. The Opera Hall itself was simply stunning, from the red and green lighted nutcrackers tucked between the balustrades of the exterior to the glitter and sparkle of decorations inside. One can't help but look upward at the amazing chandelier hanging in the grand assembly hall. And no matter how many times I see the Nutcracker, I am moved to tears by the Snowflake dance at the end of the first Act and the Pas de Deux at the end of the second Act, just as I am awestruck by the Christmas tree that grows to a magnificent size, gleeful at the appearance of the Russian dancers, and delighted by the Dancing Bear.
But best of all is sharing and enjoying the unmitigated pleasure of newcomers to the San Francisco ballet performance of the Nutcracker. I'm confident that Jenny, Taylor, and Candice enjoyed the performance as much as I. Plus we had a great post-performance dinner at the famous Max's on Van Ness. What a marvelous day!