For folks looking for a Nutcracker experience that is a bit different than just the routine performance storyline, the Kansas City Ballet opened its rendition of "The Nutcracker" to a full house at the stunning Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts last week.
Since this was my first time to see a Nutcracker performance (other than when I was about 10), this is definitely the rendition that I will expect all other Nutcrackers to live up to for evermore.
Cruising up to Kansas City for the big event, we jumped in the always comfortable 2015 Jeep Cherokee, considered a crossover, but it's got as big an attitude as this new KC ballet production.
With combined gas mileage coming in at around 24 miles per gallon depending on the trim, it's an easy ride to where you need to go. There are four trim levels too, Sport, Latitude, Trailhawk and Limited.
Take note of the fun feature on the 4WD Jeep Cherokee, the Selec-Terrain feature with the choice of Auto, Snow, Sport and Sand/Mud for traction. On the Trailhawk, not to be outdone since it is for offroading, there is the added Rock mode feature.
With plenty of comfort on the inside of the 2015 Jeep Cherokee, the rear seats recline and both front and back seats are comfortable. The cargo space is a bit limited with only 24.6 cubic feet of space behind the second row or when folded you get 54.9 cubic feet of space, but for a weekend getaway to Kansas City for the best Nutcracker production around, the comfort and agility is easy to love.
Indeed, as easy to love as this classic Victorian-era story by E.T. Hoffman.
Keep in mind too that the Kansas City Ballet's new Nutcracker production is all new sets, costumes and special effects compliments of the KC Ballet's Artistic Director Devon Carney.
Through Thursday, December 24, 2015 the music is performed by the Kansas City Symphony with of course, the music made famous by Peter I. Tchaikovsky.
Carney said "This all-new production is an enormous undertaking. The design team we have assembled is one of the best in the country."
Overall, the KC Ballet folks have been working on the production for more than a year.
And it shows since this is the first year in 34 years that the ballet will be all new with that polished new choreography and design.
Other design team members included Alain Vaes and Holly Hynes handling set and costumes, respectively, and Trad A. Burns on lighting.
Carney said of the finished product, "In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined that I could assemble some of the greatest design talent the ballet world has to offer to create this amazing new production. Each is truly known for being one of, if not the, best in the industry."
In addition to the Kansas City Ballet dancers, there are more than 175 local students ages seven to 17 in the performance as well, all a part of this new rendition of an age-old Christmas tradition.
Following "The Nutcracker" you might also consider "Swan Lake," which the Kansas City Ballet folks will be performing from February 19 to 28, 2016.
The Kansas City Ballet was founded in 1957 and currently has 28 members in its professional company under the leadership of Carney with Executive Director Jeffrey J Bentley spearheading. The ballet is homed in the remarkable Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creatively which is, in itself, a true piece of art.
For tickets visit http://kcballet.org.
photos courtesy Guillaume de Vaudrey