Review of the 2004 Nutcracker Ballet

Overall, this performance by the SF Ballet is fantastic theatrically. The sets, costumes, stage production and just the overall flair to the way it looks and presented are great. I’d have to say it’s on a par with performances that I’ve seen in Europe as far as how it came across on the stage.
The only big item that is severely lacking is the quality of the dancers. I’m not sure if seeing it in its second week of the run was a mistake or not, since it appeared that the dancers were either a) tired or b) the second tier. Their syncopation and timing to the music was generally always off and there was an overall sloppiness to the way they presented themselves. Indidivual dancers did fantastically well, leaping and tossing themselves through the air with great aplumb, but any item that required a group to work together, just didn’t work.
I’d definitely give it another go with the hopes that I caught the ballet company on an off night, which I hear is a rare thing, due to their general quality of performance. Maybe seeing it in its first week is better or maybe seeing the performance next year will be better as they’ve have worked out any kinks and have gotten used to their new sets.