(Hello there, neighbors! It’s the Season of Deadlines in my corner of the world, but I didn’t want to leave you empty-handed this Tuesday morning. The Ovation network is starting the Tenth Annual Battle of the Nutcrackers next Monday. With that in mind, I’ve updated this classic Nutcracker post for your perusal and enjoyment. Enjoy!)
By Alexa Day
The holiday season rests on tradition, which is to say that most of us, regardless of how we feel about the holidays themselves, spend part of that time doing things because we do them every year and for no other real reason.
We have holiday movies and holiday music that only comes out once a year. We gorge on holiday foods with the defense that we don’t always eat like this. We tolerate the behavior of others more than usual because “it’s only once a year.”
And then there’s the annual Dance of the Exes. This is the yearly ritual in which one’s exes emerge from the woodwork to send a holiday greeting, usually via text, after being wonderfully absent all year long. The Dance of the Exes is a mystery to me. Do they think holiday spirit will keep me from reminding them of how they became exes in the first place? Are they actually hoping for holiday hookup? Are they purging their phone address books? Who knows?
I try hard to keep my holiday traditions on the joyous side, since holidays tend to be stressful for me. A couple of years ago, I found out about the Battle of the Nutcrackers on the Ovation network. Each year, the arts channel presents five productions of The Nutcracker and invites viewers to vote for their favorite. The Battle is getting me through the holidays.
The Battle is a fabulous way to discover the less traditional Nutcracker productions. One of my favorites, The Nutcracker- The Story Of Clara, follows an older Clara as she remembers her past. I watched it shortly after turning 40, and it’s a perfect story about how full life has been and how much fuller it might yet become. Have a peek at its Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Now, as lovely as that was, I can’t pretend there’s not another reason I like spending my holiday with the ballet. I like football as much as the next girl who likes football, but given the choice, I’d rather watch the glorious beauty of the male form moving with majestic purpose, without crashing into anything … and without the obstruction of all those pads. If there’s one thing ballet has in spades, it’s hot men. Feel free to ogle them here and here, and then take a second and watch these fellows from the National Ballet of Canada.
Whoa-ho, Canada! That’s actually part one of three. If the National Ballet of Canada isn’t on your greeting card list, it might be time to put them there.
The Battle of the Nutcrackers begins next Monday on the 12th, so you’ll want to check now to see if you get Ovation. Once the battle’s over, I’m sure the hot men of ballet will keep your holidays nice and toasty warm.
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