Ovation has been running their annual Battle of the Nutcrackers. My holiday heart goes pitter-pat for Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite". There have been three opportunities to see live performances over the years, but anytime there's a televised version I'm either glued to the screen or at least letting the music play in the background. If we skipped the tree, cookies, and all the other hoo-ha, the one secular tradition that would be sorely missed is the opportunity to see the ballet performed and be immersed in the score.
A dirty, little secret: I do not like classical music. (That's a generalization. There are some specific pieces that do have appeal.) So, when there is a little something that I like, it's a surprise. Perhaps the Nutcracker's appeal is linked to the memory of dressing up in a so-unlike-me Laura Ashley fancy party dress in teal cotton that looked a lot like this: Not being a girly girl, it was a rare thing to wear such a garment. The feeling of twirling in that dress is forever linked in emotional memory to the Nutcracker. Even now, with gimpy knees, there's an irresistable urge to give in to the occasional twirl around the living room in response to the Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairy. So, thank you Ovation for providing a near endless supply of Christmas Cheer and to my mother for splurging on That Dress and those tickets for that very first performance.