Monday, December 16, 2013

Of Mice and Music: A Jazz Nutcracker by Tapestry Dance

Last week, I posted about an upcoming event we were really excited about attending this past weekend - Tapestry Dance Company's Of Mice and Music: A Jazz Nutcracker. For those who are new readers, I have an almost four-year-old little girl, and she is fascinated by dance. So much so, that we took her to The Nutcracker at The Long Center before she was even two-years-old, and she sat mesmerized by the performance. Now that she's a bit older, however, it's not as easy to keep her attention unless she's really engaged by something, and so I was worried about the potential for disaster that comes from bringing a preschooler and newborn to a formal performance.

As it turned out, there was no need for worry at all! I had heard amazing reviews of this performance from friends who had attended the previous year, and one of the big selling points for me to deviate from the typical nutcracker ballet was the fact that it's a shorter performance, with a running time of around an hour. Anyone who has spent a millisecond in a preschool classroom knows how critical it is to know when to wrap things up, am I right? Tapestry's performance was the perfect amount of time to be worth the effort it takes to get two children out the door in their Sunday best, without losing my child's attention. 

Not only was the length perfect for her age group (I saw many other families with a similarly-aged child), but the energy was appealing to the whole family. The Nutcracker is a beautiful, timeless story, but the ballet can move a bit slow for an antsy child. When you throw in the tap-tap-tapping rhythm of the dancer's shoes at Of Mice and Music, however, you have a captivated audience, tapping their feet along to the rhythm in the rows. The remarkably talented cast certainly didn't hurt things, either ;)

The venue was also spectacular for the show - it was in a reputable location, but still small enough to be intimate and for there to not be a bad seat in the house. In fact, there was open seating at the performances, making a great live experience accessible to everyone! No balcony seats for this show!

Speaking of accessibility, one of my daughter's favorite parts was getting a chance to meet - and take a photo with - the cast after the show. Such an amazing memory for her to have of this experience!

All in all, I would highly recommend checking out Tapestry Dance Company's Nutcracker performance when it returns next year! It will certainly join the repertoire of our holiday traditions!

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