As America inches along toward a return to enjoying more familiar holiday traditions, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in northwest D.C. recently presented the Miami City Ballet in George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” showcased during the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The Miami City Ballet, long admired for the vitality, precision and warmth that its artists bring to the stage, did not disappoint.

From the opening scene until the ballet’s conclusion, dancers leaped, waltzed and glided effortlessly across the stage with even the children showcasing their abilities and potential for assuming leading roles in the years to come.

Miami City Ballet performs George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker: Waltz of the Snowflakes.” (Photo by Teresa Wood)

Another highlight included the seamless transition between scenes, capably executed by the stage crew. As the scenes continued, the creative backdrops helped transport the audience to a host of make-believe places where sugar plum fairies, snowflakes, mice and even toy soldiers came to life.

Hailed by the New York Times as “an exceptional troupe, by Balanchine standards, anywhere in the world,” the company returned this year with its annual tradition of performing The Nutcracker with its 2017 interpretation of the master choreographer’s quintessential production, not seen at the Kennedy Center in well over a decade.

With the music from Tchaikovsky’s iconic score as the foundation, Balanchine’s breathtaking choreography performed by over 100 dancers and intricate designs by Cuban-American artists Ruben and the late Isabel Toledo, and projections by Wendall K. Harrington, the Center delivered with a holiday tradition that will not soon be forgotten by audiences.


D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents in their struggles with Alzheimer’s,...

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