Before taking off for California, I stopped in New York, because (a) that’s where the flight was taking off from, and (b) a couple of dear friends/old roommates and I have a tradition of going to see the Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center. It’s almost exactly the same every year, and we sit ridiculously high up in the nosebleed seats, and yet…we keep going. (And vowing that one of these years we’ll be sitting in the good seats. Or at least second or third ring.) What can I say? We find the Candy Canes irresistible.
No pictures of the ballet itself, of course (strictly verboten!), but there aren’t rules (that I know of) against taking pictures of the tree, or the chandelier(s), or the fountain.
And there are definitely no rules against taking pictures of the moon.
A few days later, on Christmas, I went to see the movie Black Swan, which is also about ballet, and a great deal of it takes place at Lincoln Center. The Nutcracker is as shiny-happy, feel-good (minus the bit about the many-headed Mouse King), and Christmasy as Black Swan is dark and unpredictable; it makes a lot of sense that director of Black Swan also directed Requiem for a Dream. Unlike many movies billed as “psychological thrillers,” however, this one was not all full of plot holes, though it did leave some elements (what is real, what is in the character’s head) up to audience interpretation. Beautiful, and incredibly well-acted – but not a sugarplum to be found.