The Nutcracker in a word – magical! The classic story of The Nutcracker at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion performed by Miami City Ballet, began with beautiful animation projected on the stage curtain creating a screen effect, with layers of beautifully hand drawn buildings, mountains, houses, forests, trees, flowers, stars, snowflakes and angels. The city of Nuremberg has emerged right before our eyes – it was exquisite. As the play opens, it is Christmas Eve and a blanket of snow has covered the entire city. We are at a holiday party at the Stahlbaum Family home…
photo courtesy of the Music Center

With so many wonderful performances featuring more than 100 dancers and cast members, this was truly a very special night, and a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season! Excellent performances also included local student dancers from two L.A. based arts academies – the Colburn School and The Gabriella Foundation’s everybody dance! program.

We really enjoyed the orchestra conducted by Gary Sheldon, performing the beloved and timeless Tchaikovsky score. The iconic choreography by Balachine paired with this beautiful music, gorgeous costumes and whimsical sets designed by award-winning Cuban American artists Isabel and Ruben Toledo was delightful. A winter wonderland was brought to life with the characters we’ve come to know and love in this holiday classic: the Sugar Plum Fairy, The Nutcracker and other toy soldiers, dolls, Harlequin, a rabbit drummer, an army of mice, sparkling snowflakes, Spanish Hot Chocolate, Arabian Coffee, Chinese Tea, Candy Canes and a Peppermint Stick all filled the stage with whimsy as we were magically transported into another world. The production also included beautiful projection and lighting design by Wendall K. Harrington and James K. Ingalls respectively; a truly magical evening that we thoroughly enjoyed! Visit the website to find out about upcoming performances. Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., LA; (213) 972-0711;