Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The New ABT Nutcracker at BAM


BAM -- The Brooklyn Academy of Music, located at 30 Lafayette Avenue, in Brooklyn New York, was founded in 1861 and is America's oldest continuously operating performing arts center. During its first century, BAM hosted political events, speeches, and rallies on the pressing issues of the day. Speakers included Henry Beecher Stowe, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Amelia Earhart.


According to BAM's website: "BAM's mission is to be the preeminent, progressive performing and cinema arts center of the 21st century, engaging both global and local communities. BAM strives to create a distinctive environment for an inspirational and transformative aesthetic experience."

BAM presents or produces up to 220 stage performances each year, many of international origin and it also contains a four-screen cinema, open 365 days a year, presenting new releases and repertory films.


Some architectural features of the exterior of BAM's building can be seen in the photo collage above. The 1908 Beaux Arts style building was designed by Herts and Tallant—premier theater architects of the period.


My husband and I visited BAM this past weekend to attend the final performance of The American Ballet Theatre's ( ABT) new Nutcracker production choreographed by artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House.


Attending the famous 1892 Nutcracker ballet, with its score written by Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky, has become an Christmas tradition for many families. We were eager to see this new production which featured set and costume designs by Richard Hudson, who won a Tony award for The Lion King.

The New York Times gave it a "thumbs up" in their review, and so did we, as we watched the ballet feeling both enchanted and amused.  To see a wonderful interactive ABT story book about the production, including videos, click here.

My photos of the cast's final bows at the end of the wonderful production in a collage. 

 Click here for a NYT slide show of photos from the production.




This is a Guggenheim Museum Works & Process video that shows the set design, and Ratmansky sharing some of his ideas for the new production while ABT principal dancers practice in rehearsal for the Nutcracker -- exquisite!


 
Linking this post to:

"Outdoor Wednesday" on Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer

"Rednesday" on Sue's blog It's a Very Cherry World



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49 comments:

Pondside said...

Just beautiful! There's something magical about that ballet at this time of year.

Grace said...

Brooklyn is so full of treasures! Looks like a beautiful theatre and Nutcracker. Happy New Year. Grace xoxo

Claudia said...

I love BAM - the last ABT Nutcracker I saw had Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland. Been awhile. I am addicted to Ballanchine's Nutcracker and always will be but am open to interpretation. Loved the photos of beautiful BAM - when theatre building had glory days.

Willow said...

What marvelous costumes! I love that ballet!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I haven't seen the new Nutcracker production yet, but I guess it'll have to wait until next year. Those architectural details of BAM are really beautiful

Lily Hydrangea said...

Amazing post Pat! I so wanted to see this here! Maybe next year.
I saw it once as a child on Long Island & another time as an adult in Philadelphia & loved it

Cindy said...

Oh my! That must have been so fun to see! What a beautiful building with so much history! I love old architecture, that's one reason I love our city, there is so much to see here, nothing compared to NYC, though, I'm afraid. You have such great posts, I always really enjoy them!
Hugs, Cindy

Buttercup said...

Love your pictures and posts. We're on the same wave length today. I just posted on the Brooklyn Museum. Hope all is well and that the new year is going well for you.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I really loved seeing these pictures of BAM. Many years ago, one of my best friends I grew up with was the director of PR at BAM. She studied at Pratt and then went to work at BAM. She died when we were only in our late twenties, and I always wonder what great things she would have done had her life not ended at such a young age.

It really is an amazing facility. She used to tell us about getting to meet so many celebrities in her capacity as director of PR director, and her artwork was all over the city because she designed the promotional material for various performances. Sorry to get sidetracked on this, but I always miss her most at Christmas because we got together and had an annual Christmas party of old friends for many years. This is a very meaningful post to me.

XO,

Sheila :-)

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Charming! Absolutely charming in so many ways! Thanks for sharing this beautiful building and ballet with us!

Cynthia said...

Happy New Year Pat!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Thanks for the post on the Brooklyn Academy of Music! Looks like a wonderful place!
:) Diane

Lucy (aka RHarper) said...

Oh my goodness! That theatre. I want to be there and right now. I could see and hear the Nutcracker any time of the year. But at Christmas...it's just special. Thanks!

lisamichele said...

OH..I love love love The Nutcracker, and every holiday season my paternal grandpar-ents would take my sister and I to see it at Lincoln Center, the afternoon ending with a skate at Rockefeller Center :)

I hope you're doing well, Pat, and everything is coming up roses! Wishing you and your family a Happy and healthy New Year!

As for the Yankees, ugh, Cashman has done diddly squat to help this team in the off season. Now that George is gone and he and George's sons are running it, I predict a downfall *sigh* I hope I'm wrong!

Sheila said...

The architectural beauty of the Brooklyn Academy of music is outstanding. how wonderful to see that such a building is still functional today. I treasure the times I saw the Nutcracker with my children when they were small. Now to click on that video to see the sets...thanks Pat.

Ginny said...

The building itself is just lovely!! I would practically live there if I lived in New York! And you got really good pictures! I'm glad they allowed them.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Brava! And isn't that building just gorgeous? I am in love with the architecture of old theaters and I spend more time at shows looking up at the ceiling than I do at the show! :-)

A very happy new year, Pat, and I am so happy I was able to keep up with you on fb. I'm determined to clearly bloggy time in 2011 even if it means doing it at 2:30 a.m. Oh wait...it does! ;-)

I miss your posts so much. It's such a joy (really) to be reading through them. xo Laura

Gracie said...

I like the ballet so very much, and I envy you deeply to have the chance to see many in NY! Thanks for sharing.

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

The older I get, the more architecture literally takes my breath away. And history. BAM has both and a cool acronym as well.

Love the angels...but the inside is wowza!!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

What a beautiful building. I do love the stories of historical buildings. Just think of all the famous and not so famous who have visited over the years.

Jojo said...

Thank you for taking us along. I clicked on the video site and tried to look at the book but the pages turned so fast that I couldn't see anything!!!

Kat said...

What a gorgeous building, and what a perfect place to see the Nutcracker. One of my very favorite holiday traditions. I loved the video. This looks like a magical production, and I'm so glad you shared the experience with us! Kat

steviewren said...

My mother and dad have been taking grandchildren and now great grands to see the Nutcracker every year since my 36 year old son was 3. I'd call that a tradition. This year my son who lives in Tx took his 4 oldest girls to see it...he had to carry on the tradition on his own, since his girls aren't here to go with GG and Grandpa.

steviewren said...

I forgot to add that I really like your new blog banner. It suits you perfectly.

Old Kitty said...

Awww wow! BAM is a lovely building with such a rich artistic history!! Yay that its still going strong!! It really looks like a fab place for cinema and live theatre watching!!

Awww I love the Nutcracker! Gosh it's years since I saw a production - years!! But I loved it and this looks so scrumptious and lavish!! The clip of the performers rehearsing though is truly magical - just the dance and music - lovely!!

Thanks for the pics and the clip!! And yay for your fab new banner! Take care
x

SueLovesCherries said...

Wonderful building close-ups! How can anyone not love the Nutcracker?

Jo said...

I got one word....ENVY!..hehehe.

Jo
Lazyonloblolly

Helen said...

I so enjoyed this post ... thank you!

Donnie said...

That was great fun touring the Ballet with you. Lovely photos.

Oliag said...

Love your new banner:) And loved my trip to the ballet. The video was fantastic...

pam said...

I LOVE the exterior of that building. I'm not an antique lover but I LOVE old buildings. I also loved the costumes...they really POP with beautiful colors. Hope your day is grand Pat!

Light and Voices said...

Breathtaking! Happy New Year!
Joyce M

Dishesdone said...

I love the ballet! Saw the ABT years ago at the Met! Have never been to BAM, I should, what a rich, rich history! I love the places you go!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

What a beautiful theater! I missed the Nutcracker this year...I will make sure to have tickets for it next December.
♥, Susan

La said...

I love the Nutcracker. What a treat to be able to enjoy it in such a beautiful and storied venue.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

JoJo go back to that book link and look for an arrow at the bottom of the page. It will turn the pages one at a time :)

Farmchick said...

I saw The Nutcracker a few years ago and just loved it. I can't imagine how lovely it would be to watch it in the venue.

Vee said...

Wonderful building rich in history... It's wonderful to see "The Nutcracker" at Christmastime; I often had the opportunity because of youth programs where tickets were sold at far less cost so that young people could be introduced to ballet. Teachers get blessed at such times, too. I'd love to see such a performance in NYC.

Yvette said...

When my daughter was little, we often took her at Christmas to see THE NUTCRACKER either at Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ or a couple of times at Lincoln Center. She loved it. Later, as an adult, she continued the tradition for a few years. I'm assuming she will introduce her new daughter to the ballet once the time comes. Can't wait.

nanny said...

I'll bet it was just wonderful...
I love the costumes, so pretty.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I haven't been to the Nutcracker Ballet since our girls have been grown. What a beautiful place to see it!

Catherine said...

Love your new header! The Nutcracker has been a favorite of mine for years. Thank you for posting the gorgeous pictures too.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

HI Pat, Oh how I love the Nutcracker.... I'm glad this NEW version got 'thumbs up'... Some of the time, I don't like updated versions of some old favorites. But--it sounds like this one is GREAT...

Thanks for sharing such beauty with us.
Hugs,
Betsy

Theanne... said...

What a magnificent building! As usual your photography is grand...I enjoy seeing the Nutcracker each year...but haven't seen the production you photographed...looks intriguing!

Lori E said...

Do you ever come across a blog that you always thought you were following and then realize that you weren't?
I know I have been here over the past year, why wasn't I following.
Thank you for your kind words. The heartbreak heals with every thoughtful person.

diane b said...

What a beautiful building and you are so lucky to be able to attend the Nutcracker there. I almost talked Bill into going to see it here but I didn't push hard enough.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart - wow. What a beautiful place. Sadly I've never seen the Nutcracker.
Sam

Tracy said...

BEAUTIFUL venue... and beautiful ballet! I've always loved the ballet. The Nutcracker has a soft spot in my heart as it was the first ballet I saw performed live... every young girl's dream. ;o) Thanks for taking us there, Pat... *swoon*... Happy Days ((HUGS))

Lovella ♥ said...

I keep adding things I must do when I visit your lovely informative blog. I know there is often a nutcracker production in Vanouver and perhaps next year I'll pay attention to the dates and see at least one version of it.
Thanks Pat.