Friday, August 17, 2007


Can you believe auditions for Austin Conservatory/Austin City Ballet's "Nutcracker" is this freaking Saturday? I already dislike the bulk of the music (sorry Tchaikovsky...nothing against you in particular) but imagine if you had to hear it ever Saturday from now until December? I'd be ready to poke someone's eyes out.

Why don't you shove that sugar plum up your ass eh? EH?

If I did audition, I suspect I'd end up being one of them Snow Fairies.

Sure, we'd look pretty and all in our white and silver tutus gracefully fluttering around. What no one bothers to tell are the various items people have used as "snow" for those scenes and the hazards associated with them:

Shredded Paper
Sure, it's economical and all, but a freaking hazard when you step in it especially doing a bunch of turns en masse. Besides, I'd distracted if I looked down and saw a corner of my 2005 tax return in the pile. Speaking of pile, the tendency is to sweep up the stuff and reuse it, so by the time you're doing the last set of performances, you may end up getting showered with bobby pins, hook and eye clasps, hair, paper clips, etc. Ouch.

Instant Mashed Potato Flakes
Surprisingly common since it is not a bio hazard, but let me tell ya, Mr. Nutcracker sweats. A lot. Same with the mice. They usually wear hot and heavy head gear for costumes and well, what do you expect? So, although it's not as dangerous as the above option, it's really nasty when you've got to dance in goop and a pain to clean up.

Soap Flakes
This certainly looks and flutters like snow, but when you get this shit in your eyes it stings. STINGS LIKE A MOTHER FUCKER. Also, along with Mr. Sweaty Nutcracker, this too is a hazard on stage. I do not suggest this option.

Plastic Flakes
Apparently the Houston Ballet uses this stuff. It's economical but bad for the environment. Probably carcinogenic too. The benefit is that you can reuse this stuff year after year....and the the snow drifts start to look like winter in Moscow all grey and dreary.

On a somewhat related note, I've always appreciated modern choreographer Mark Morris's interpretation of "Nutcracker." He calls his production "The Hard Nut" and in the snow scenes, the snow flakes are cast with males and females all wearing too short tutus and soft serve ice cream caps:

Anyway, this is all to say, I probably won't audition this weekend. I think I'm gonna help mom unpack some more and then hang out with my friend Mark and geek out on music for a while.

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Blogger Mentok said...

Now I'll never be able to watch the Nutcracker again without laughing.

(which would actually be an improvement. I generally doze off after the Herr Creepelmeyer scenes.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007  
Blogger cchang said...

It really is one of the most boring ballets in the world.

I forgot to add something that my violin teacher once told me. Unlike parts in a ballet, the orchestra members tend to stay the same and my teacher told me how they'd all try to get through rehearsals by playing the pieces at lightening speed. As you can imagine this would be quite entertaining during dress rehearsals. They'd take bets on which dancer would fall over first....

Wednesday, August 22, 2007  

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