It felt bizarre to perform the Nutcracker in the summer, but it was somehow fitting—for my role at least. After all, the skirted Arabian bikini is infinitely more appropriate attire for August than it is for December. It was the first time I wasn’t shivering backstage beforehand! I also had a decent tan from a recent trip to Grand Cayman, so I didn’t feel like such a vampire for once. But even more fun was dancing such a sultry piece in the lazy days of summer.
Balanchine’s Arabian choreography is a bizarre mix of heavy grand allegro jumps and sustained, adagio développés. Sometimes there are quick steps for every note in a triplet—like in the opening stage crossings which always make me think of Tina Turner in Proud Mary. But sometimes there is