What a magical evening with Texas Ballet Theater! My family went to see The Nutcracker most years of my childhood so I was delighted to continue the tradition with my niece, brother, and sister-in-law. We decided to make an evening of it, since Bass Performance Hall is in one of the cutest areas in all of Dallas-Fort Worth: Sundance Square. Texas Ballet Theater also performs in Dallas, which of course is closer to where I live, but downtown Fort Worth is just so cute at Christmas time. It’s worth the drive! Just look at the horse-drawn carriage in front of Bass Hall.
Sundance Square has free parking all over in the evenings and on weekends. We parked at the 4th and Calhoun garage caddy corner to Bass Hall then walked to dinner at Bird Cafe. This is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in the area. We had a fabulous table out on the patio (it was chilly but we perfectly comfortable under the heaters) so we had a view of the giant Fort Worth Christmas tree. We were able to enjoy cocktails, the Hungry Farmer meat and cheese board, entrees (my cobb salad was divine), and a chocolate cake all in one hour with plenty of time to spare to not feel rushed before the show.
We grabbed a booster seat for my niece downstairs and I got a Sugar Plum Fairy cocktail in a sippy cup to savor during the show.
A classical ballet performed in two acts with a brief intermission, The Nutcracker is based on the 1816 tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It’s some of Tchaikovsky’s finest work and no matter how many times I see it, the music never gets old. I’ve seen Texas Ballet Theater’s production of The Nutcracker before but it had been a while and this production blew me away! This year’s production was brought to life by Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., artistic Director for TBT.
You can always tell how good a performance is by how good the ensemble is. It’s not hard to find great leads but it impresses me the most when every member of the ensemble feels every scene. Students from the Texas Ballet Theater School audition and play the children roles and they could not have been cuter or more committed to their parts. The Christmas Day opening was one of my favorite parts of the show because the children were so endearing to watch.
Speaking of endearing, we have to talk about Clara. Her dancing was so elegantly precise and pointed that I found it hard to take my eyes off of her when she was dancing. She is one of the best Claras I’ve ever seen.