Guadalajara: El Cascanueces

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A dancer’s leotard hangs from the grille work of an upstairs dressing room at Teatro Degollado


What would the holiday season be without the familiar strains of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (El Cascanueces)?
I’ve heard that enchanting music all my life, but today I decide to attend the ballet at Teatro Degollado—the first ballet I have ever seen.
The seat that I pay less than five dollars for is in the third balcony, but it’s in the center of the theatre, and I have an unobstructed view of the stage. No one sits in front of me.
From the opening notes to the audience’s thunderous applause as the curtain closes, I am enthralled. At times, I am near tears. Such skill and strength displayed by the young dancers! Such grace!
Throughout the performance, the mother of the little three-year-old girl who sits next to me doesn’t even try to keep her still.
Why should she?
With the dancers twirling and whirling across the stage, the little girl mimics them with her hands—almost as if she knows intuitively that someday she too will dance with the Ballet de Jalisco.
Two hours of pure magic, two days before Christmas—it doesn’t get any better than this!

two days till Christmas—
seven lost notes of the wren
lie on the sidewalk


Text and photo © 2016 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved


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