By Kathi E.B. Ellis for WFPL
December 11th, 2018
This season marks the 10th anniversary of this iteration of the Louisville Ballet’s long-running tradition of presenting “The Nutcracker.” Brown-Forman’s initial support to create this still fresh-looking production, and ongoing support to ensure live music from the Louisville Orchestra, is one that stands the test of time. The scenery and costumes continue to sparkle. Even with the explosion of technology in the past decade, the magical sequences still hold their own with charm and dexterity.
I’ve been reviewing this production since 2010, and always find some fresh nuance or new detail in the performances. With the various casts rotating both within each year and across the seasons, it feels like the dancers also find ways to find something new in the characters they create.
This year Annie Honebrink is again stepping into the role of Marie. It’s good to see her back on stage, as she was sidelined from performing by an injury in the spring. Honebrink has remained active with the company, blogging and writing articles, but her return to the stage is welcome. She brings a delightful wide-eyed innocence to Marie’s party and dream. Her amazement at the feats of Russian Caviar (Luke Yee, Minh-Tuan Nguyen, Trevor Williams) matches that of the audience, and her discomfort around the suddenly larger-than-life rats does not feel pantomimic.