On a whim, I asked a friend to attend the screening of NYC Ballet’s The Nutcracker in San Francisco. After looking at the ticket prices at the SF Ballet, I thought this was the only way I’d get to see it this season.
It was the first time I’d seen this ballet, and I wasn’t disappointed. The sets, the costumes, the choreography! It was marvellous.
I’d always heard the Sugarplum Fairy was the premier role in this ballet, but the standout performance for me was seeing Ashley Bouder as Dewdrop.
I don’t purport (at all!) to be an expert in all things ballet, but I know what I like. She had such lightness, such joy that she radiated when she moved. It was intoxicating. I sat there, in the cinemas, overcome with emotion. Tears were the way it manifested and it surprised me.
There’s something so graceful and beautiful when you see a ballet lived, embodied by those that dance it. It’s as though the dancer is exists only to perform this for you. It’s hard to imagine these people move among us, preferring to believe they sleep in their dressing rooms and are awoken only before curtain rises to conserve their energy.
Watching Ashley Bouder is similar to watching SF Ballet’s Yuan Yuan Tan. Both have that commanding stage presence that is required of a principal dancer at a major company. But they both have something else, for lack of a better term you could call it an ‘it-factor’.
For me, dance can be incredibly emotional. I am lucky that I have a great friend who shares my passion for it, and doesn’t ask me why I crying.