Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Of Sugar Plums, Ballerinas, and Sticky Fingers

It's been a season of Nutcrackers for my daughters and me: my eldest performed in nine shows, and we watched two other versions: one by a local conservatory and the other by the New York City Ballet.* 

Although I didn't know it at the time, we were very fortunate to have tickets for Lauren Lovette's Sugar Plum fairy (she debuted on December 23 and danced one additional show). Ms. Lovette received the annual Clive Barnes Award, which recognizes a young professional dancer with great potential, and we certainly experiences her promise, though we didn't learn of her accolades till after the performance.

I was curious to learn about the origin of "sugar plums"--I was aware of their name through both the ballet and that other great Christmas narrative 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (the children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads).  I had always imagined a sweet English fruit, not an actual candy, till I saw the ballet.

Sugar plums are dried fruit candies, coated in sugar and date back to the mid-1800s.  Here's an early ad for one:

The sets of NYCB's production were mouth-wateringly beautiful (the second half is set in a candyland), but we didn't endure any sticky fingers from all the sweets, though someone backstage at my daughter's production assuredly did.  While I was volunteering my time, applying full faces of makeup, smoothing hair into buns, and making sure that costumes were perfectly presented, one evening a sticky-fingered individual swiped my bag, dumping its contents (all intact, minus my lipsticks in the interior pocket) out into the ballet parking lot. 

While I was relieved to have my paperwork back (I didn't look forward to renewing my permanent resident status under the circumstances, cancelling cheques or credit cards), the experience left, shall we say, a sour taste. 

*My darling younger daughter says that she never wants to see a Nutcracker ever again; nor does she ever want to hear its music; she's done. I will find something just for her; here's hoping Lady Gaga will play in New York this summer . . .

1 comment:

materfamilias said...

First of all, so sorry your bag was stolen -- seems a more egregious offense that it was taken while you were volunteering -- horrid!

But the joys of Nutcracker and of watching your own daughter dance . . . must have been splendid. I'm looking forward to taking Nola -- her mom and I decided that waiting 'til next year, when she's 5, made more sense than risking boredom this year, although I can't imagine anything but rapt attention.