Differences among the "Nutcrackers" are minor but account for the singular flavors of each. In the American Repertory version, choreographed originally by Audree Estey, with additions by Septime Webre, Philip Jerry and Jane Miller Gifford, the family in Act I is a reflection of the warmth, intimacy and spontaneity that characterizes the company itself.
While the children -- students at the company's official training academy, the Princeton Ballet School -- observe the strictest formality, bowing and curtsying copiously in their promenading phalanxes, the parents abandon themselves to moments of unrestrained dancing, much to the amusement of their children. This company's Drosselmeyer, played by Ralph Higgins for many years, is a grandfatherly prankster, the type who comes to family gatherings with card and coin tricks up his sleeve, Act II - Transformation & Apotheosis.
Slightly bumbling he catches his own fingers in the jaws of the toy Nutcrackerthis Drosselmeyer is kindness personified. He creates enchantment with the large-scale gestures of an orchestra conductor, seeming to extract magic from the air the way a conductor brings forth, with a gesture, crashing fortissimos. The production's most engaging sequence involves a trio of extremely elegant adult dancers costumed as mice in velvet waistcoats that recall the 18th-century French court.
Combinging the aristocratic with a touch of the Three Stooges, the trio, led by an exotically dressed Mouse King, takes on a batallion of colorfully outfitted toy soldiers who march with the precision of the Rockettes.
Memorable moments in the New Jersey Ballet production, which is danced to the sound of a live orchestra in the Paper Mill Theater performances, include the Act I variations for the toy doll and her soldier cavalier and the Act II Russian dance, or Trepak, in which the brio of Elie Lazar's pyrotechnics sizzles across the stage, stealing the show, as it has in the past. In this version, sibling rivalry between Fritz, the naughty younger brother, and his demure older sister, who is the virtual star of Act I, assumes all the reality of prime-time family Act II - Transformation & Apotheosis.
When Fritz is publicly spanked for breaking his sister's new Nutcracker doll, the other boys at the party display unmistakable joy at his misfortune. In modern parlance, Fritz is the scapegoat, blamed for everything and the butt of all the complaints by the prissily perfect little girls who simper as they rock their dolls.
His sister, Clara, slightly older than the other girls, has her eye on Drosselmeyer's nephew even as she cradles her Nutcracker. In putting her in pointe shoes and giving her a pas de deux with the Nutcracker Prince after his heroics against the mice, this production suggests the transformation of a young girl into a young woman on the verge of adventure and romance.
Chocolate Spanish Dance. Coffee Arabian Dance. Tea Act II - Transformation & Apotheosis Dance. Dance of the Reed Pipes. Mother Gigogne and the Clowns. Waltz of the Flowers. Pas de deux. Final Waltz and Apotheosis. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue Adams: Naive and Sentimental Music He discusses the Act II - Transformation & Apotheosis with Allan, and is frustrated that everyone keeps asking him if he is okay, while Sheridan seemingly came back from the dead and no one is asking him the same question.
Allan tells Garibaldi that he's clear to return to work once Dr. Stephen Franklin gives him one final exam. Before Allan leaves, Garibaldi confides in him that he is worried about his relationship with Sheridan. Before the captain left for Z'ha'dumthey were on good terms but now it seems like Sheridan is avoiding him. Morden meets them, informing him that the Vorlons are attacking worlds with Shadow influences. Cartagia admits it is true, but they are keeping the information from the public.
Mollari demands the Shadow ships be removed, but Mr. Morden says they will be staying, and orders the Centauri to put a fleet in orbit to face the Vorlons. He is convinced they will never attack a major world. Cartagia agrees with Morden. After Morden leaves, Cartagia reveals that he has no intention of putting a fleet in orbit and Mollari is relieved.
Instead, Cartagia takes Mollari to a private room to meet his "Shadow Cabinet" — the emperor's name for the decapitated heads of his former opponents — and to reveal his plan to let the Vorlons destroy Centauri Prime to mark his ascension to godhood.
Mollari is appalled but can say nothing. Franklin examines Garibaldi and clears him for duty after checking him for the neck scarring that would indicate the Shadows tried to interface him with one of their ships.
Franklin asks Garibaldi what he thinks happened to him. Garibaldi believes that he was caught in the backwash of a Shadow ship's hyperspace jump. Garibaldi has a brief flashback when Franklin takes off his gloves but does not mention it. As Garibaldi leaves MedlabSheridan arrives and asks Franklin about some test results. Ivanova continues to provide updates Act II - Transformation & Apotheosis the Vorlon advance and refugee worlds.
Sheridan watches the broadcast in his quarters and Delenn arrives. Sheridan notes that Ivanova is afraid, and that he's Act II - Transformation & Apotheosis seen that from her before.
Delenn apologizes for not telling Sheridan that Anna might have been alive, since she was afraid of losing him. Sheridan tells her that at the end on Z'ha'dum, he clung to the image of her. Sheridan tells her that he loves her, and that he forgives her. In the war room, Ivanova, Franklin, Garibaldi, and Allan discuss the station's situation. They are overcrowded already, with more arriving. Franklin suggests moving refugees to Epsilon III. Sheridan arrives and agrees to the suggestion since it has never been touched by the Shadows so it should be safe.
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