Friday, December 17, 2010

Tchaikovsky and Willam Christensen. Perfect.

I just got home from a wonderful evening at the ballet with my daughters. It was beautiful and dreamy and so fine. All three of us loved it. I was transported back to the early 70's... a little girl seeing the Nutcracker at Ballet West for the first time. Magical.

I've stolen a few pictures from Ballet West's blog. Tres convenient. I've also grabbed a little bio of Willam F Christensen, the founder of Ballet West, from Wikipedia.

Snow Queen and her Cavalier. The girls want her tiara.

Willam F Christensen (1902 – 2001) was an American ballet dancer, choreographer and founder of the San Francisco Ballet and Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is known for bringing the complete version of the Russian ballet The Nutcracker to the United States, as well as staging the first American performances of Swan Lake and CoppĂ©lia. Christensen's Nutcracker was first staged in 1944 in San Francisco, where the ballet remains an annual tradition, though the production now staged there is not necessarily the Christensen version. (Ballet West's Nutcracker is the original Christensen version and it is in my opinion, the best)

Christensen left the San Francisco Ballet in the care of his brother, Harold, to help choreograph a stage production at the University of Utah in the summer of 1948. While there, he was asked to stay on and help the University create a department of ballet. He agreed, and spent the remainder of his life working in Utah and the Intermountain West. The University of Utah was the first accredited University to have a ballet department in the United States. While in Utah, Christensen also founded Ballet West.

Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

Sugar Plum Fairy en pointe with rockin extension.

Waltz of the Flowers. Yum.

More chicas from the Waltz of the Flowers.

As a little girl, I dreamed of being Clara; dancing with the handsome prince, being whisked away to a magical kingdom. I don't dream of being Clara anymore. I have a handsome prince who loves me and our amazing daughters and treats us like royalty. Thanks Rich for the curbside taxi service and thank you Sarah and Emily for wanting to go tonight. Thank you to my mom for helping me love ballet and carting me to dance lessons all those years.


  1. I've never seen this ballet, but I've always wanted to. This makes me want to even more...

  2. Your "own handsome prince" is so lucky. And so are all of you girls who have a mom and grandma who gives you tickets to The Nutcracker. I have always loved it.