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Holiday Tradition At LaGuardia Community College

The Nutcracker, Santa & An Old Fashioned Family Holiday

Nutcracker ballet laguardia community college 2009LIC / Long Island City / December 12, 2009. We attended the LaGuardia Community College annual holiday performance of the Nutcracker. The Nutcracker was performed by Ballet For Young Audiences in association with the Long Island City School of Ballet. As always the ballet was accompanied by the beautiful music composed by PyotrTchaikovsky. Click here to read a brief history and review of the Nutcracker Ballet in Queens NY. This ballet company will also be performing at Queens Theatre In The Park next weekend.

This Saturday I had occasion to enjoy a performance by the Long Island City School Of Ballet of the Nutcracker. The LIC based school used both professionals and children from their classes to perform to the delight of the audiences. The beautiful costumes, the wondrous music and the fanciful footwork of the dancers all conspired to bring the holiday spirit right into my heart.

The Nutcracker Ballet In Queens NY 2009

lic school of ballet performanceThe story upon which the Nutcracker is based, was written by Ernst Hoffman, a German Romanticist, in the mid 1800’s. It contains dark themes as well as fanciful ones, as it made its statements through the allegory of the times. In the late 1800’s the story was embellished and brought to life by Pyotr Tchaichovsky with his musical composition which used the story as its theme. A dance was set to the music by a Russian choreographer shortly after Tchaikovsky finished the composition.

The Nutcracker came to America following WWII. In the 1950’s, Ballanchine, the famous Russian American choreographer brought the performance to city ballet and thenceforth it spread throughout ballet schools across the nation. It has since evolved as both an American tradition and an American favorite.

Long Island City - LIC School Of Ballet Performs

The Ballet For Youth Audiences in association with the LIC School of Ballet began performing this ballet at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center last week. They held several performances, all of which we understand were sold out. Following the performance on Saturday, the children were invited to meet with Santa Claus prior to going home. Given there was a long line, LaGuardia has set up a couple of waiting line entertainment venues, including a sort of street dance act toward the end of the line [see photo in lead-in to this article in the LIC section], and then further toward the front of the line a vocalist and pianist sang and played holiday music [see photo below].

vocalist and piano accompaniment at laguardia community college Christmas eventAfter entering Santa's workshop, I sat for a while watching Santa listen to the children’s wishes for gifts. I began reminiscing about growing up in Wisconsin in the sixties and seventies and visiting the ‘H.C. Prange Co’ which was one of those lavish fifties / sixties style department stores which hosted a Santa listening line as the holiday neared. The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center stage crew had set up a beautiful set, replete with snow, and it brought back some wonderful memories for me … and I have to imagine for a few parents as well. I was told before leaving that this has been a tradition at LaGuardia for about fifteen years. And I imagine, given its popularity, it could go on for another fifteen ... or longer. May you have the happiest of holidays.

Photos Of The Nutcracker Ballet & Santa At LaGuardia College 2009

Click here to go to an album showing photos of the Nutcracker performance by the Long Island City LIC School of Ballet, as well as the subsequent visit by Santa. Note that this dance company will also be performing the Nutcracker Ballet at Queens Theatre In The Park on Tuesday Dec 29 and Wednesday Dec 30 at 1 pm and 4 pm on both days [see details in the Queens Events calendar]. For more info about the Nutcracker ballet, visit Ballet For Young Audiences and visit Long Island City LIC School Of Ballet to learn more about the ballet school that performed the Nutcracker.

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