vendredi, décembre 28, 2007

Growing up in New York, a child of middle-class (well, perhaps upper-middle)parents, I took ballet at the Brooklyn Academy, went to the theater in Manhattan, and dragged poor mom to The Doors and Jim Hendrix concerts (or maybe they both played at the same concert- my recollection is a bit blurry). Fascinated by the famous Russian dancer Nijinsky, I researched early 20th century dance at Lincoln Center and dreamed of acting on Broadway.

I think, although I'm not certain, that it was my grandmother Sarah who took me to see the Nutracker Suite. I can't recall whether it was the American or New York City Ballet. I know she used to take me to Gilbert and Sullivan shows. Grandma had been a librarian as well as a charming and beautiful rabblerouser for humanity.

I thought about this when Sian and her "Aunt" Heidi and I went to see the "Nutcracker" at the Academy tonight. For a few years I've wanted to take her, and felt a little guilty that she hadn't been enveloped in Balanchine's, Tchaikovsky's and Petipa's fabulous and eerie world before. But then, I thought...there are hundreds of thousands of American girls who will become wonderful women-not ever having seen the Nutcracker.

I'm a staunch advocate for the classics-our kids take in so much trash already that parents need to try to broaden their perspective. But force-feeding doesn't work-you need to hope that they are enchanted.

The window opened, just a crack, tonight. Even for her jaded mom-so thank you Grandma.

2 commentaires:

Sue a dit…

How funny! I just saw The Nutcracker yesterday for the first time in my life as well ... although I'm 35 years old and I saw it on a videotape from the library. :) My kids have what amounts to their own library in their bedroom (books are our thing), and they have a decent Christmas section, containing now about 3 or 4 different versions of The Nutcracker, ranging from a pretty in-depth version (which Aidan loves, age 5) to a more kiddie-friendly book (intriguing Grace, age 2). Both kids have been fascinated with this for some reason during this season, and it was new to me as well. Finally we went to the library yesterday and got out an old recording -- kind of cheesy (c. 1977) but Baryshnikov was incredible. The kids LOVED it, both of them ... all 3 of us. :) I agree wholeheartedly -- the trash out there makes me somewhat nauseous, and to see my kids automatically, without any adult prompting, finding themselves attracted to something like The Nutcracker ... well, I feel hopeful. Glad you were able to see it and fulfill that part of yourself as well!

Offcenter a dit…

I was thinking that there are probably local Nutcrackers put on everywhere, and when your kids are slightly older, you can take them. It's also good for boys to know ballet isn't just a female thing. I saw lots of guys last night at the Academy....