Tipton’s lighting of the final PdD, where the doors at the back of the stage open and the grownup Clara and the Nutcracker Prince emerge to come face to face with their child versions who then leave us through those same doors, looked almost heavenly. It was some of the most complimentary lighting for men in white tights that Haglund has ever seen, and yesterday, when applied to Herman Cornejo, made him look like the Prince of all the other Princes. Sorry all you big guys, but those dark curls and sculpted thighs are the kind of prince we all dream about.
Some of the superb details of the PdDs probably escaped the casual Nutcracker audience members. But how interesting it was to see in the supported finger pirouettes that the ballerina changed her spot so that she looked at her Prince with each revolution instead of out at the audience. How dramatic it was to see the Prince conclude a blistering variation to one knee with his head bowed and arm stretched to the front like a toy Nutcracker might have done. How touching to see the The Nutcracker Prince pause in the same pose initially formed by The Nutcracker Boy with his arms outstretched, face and chest lifted toward the heavens – all under Tipton’s wondrous lighting.
Some of the PdD’s supported moves suffered awkwardness, including the final pose, but for the most part, it was yet another fantastic interpretation of this story.