Holiday Traditions and a Trip to the Ballet

After all my complaining I finally found a date to the ballet- make that two!

This past weekend two of my former University roommates and I went to the opening performance of The National Ballet of Canada‘s Nutcracker performance at The Four Seasons Centre for The Performing Arts.

You remember the story of The Nutcracker from childhood, don’t you? As a kid I remember going to see The Nutcracker ballet during the holiday season as part of a field trip with my dance school, and one year we even put on our own rendition at our year-end performance (I was a sugar plum fairy).

It’s probably been well over 10 years since I last saw the show, and the music, the costumes and the story were just as wonderful as I remembered. To our surprise everyone’s favourite Mayor, Rob Ford, made a cameo appearance in the performance as a Cannon Doll. The children in the audience didn’t seem to notice, but I’m sure many of the parents were amused.

Keith Beaty/Toronto Star

But my favourite part of the performance was getting the chance to watch Heather Ogden dance the role of The Sugar Plum Fairy. It’s evident that she loves her job.

Photo By National Ballet

I’ve decided to reinstate the old holiday tradition of The Nutcracker Ballet. Who wants to come with next year?

I found these “Did You Know” facts on the National Ballet’s website:

  • Number of people who have attended The Nutcracker since its premiere on December 21, 1995: 814,635
  • Cost to build The Nutcracker in 1995: $2.7 million
  • Box office revenue from The Nutcracker since 1995: $38 million
  • Number of performers in each performance: 214 (70 dancers; 60 students; 60 musicians; 24 singers)
  • Number of costumes in each performance of The Nutcracker: 187
  • Number of layers of tulle in the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu: 15
  • Total cost of pointe shoes for each run of The Nutcracker: $150,000
  • Number of animals in The Nutcracker: 56 (1 rat, 1 horse, 2 bears, 6 baby mice, 18 cats and dogs, 8 cossack mice, 1 Tsar mouse, 1 ram, 1 rooster, 6 unicorns, 1 fox, 1 sheep, 9 lambs and 1 bee)
  • Number of celebrity Cannon Dolls who have fired the cannon to begin the battle scene including Mats Sundin, Margaret Atwood, Kurt Browning, Doug Gilmore, Rick Mercer and many more: 504
  • Number of performances cancelled due to snow: 0

The Nutcracker will be runing until January 3rd, 2012.


One thought on “Holiday Traditions and a Trip to the Ballet

  1. […] gone to see one of the most popular ballets and have interviewed one of the most esteemed dancers in Canada, but until I wrote this piece for […]

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