***9 Days ‘Til Christmas!!!***
On Wednesday night I had the opportunity to accompany my friend Caitlin to the San Francisco Ballet‘s performance of The Nutcracker. She did some pro bono work for the ballet earlier in the year, and they were kind enough to give her two tickets as a thanks for her hard work. And she was kind enough to invite me to go with her!
We happened to be there on one of their family night performances, which meant there were a lot of kids in the audience. My sentiment about this sort of thing is that it can go one of two ways: over tired meltdowns or you don’t even notice they’re there.
However, the thing to note here is that we were at family night at The Nutcracker. The ballet is magical. The music is familiar, the characters are exciting, and the dancing is breathtaking. The kids were enthralled. I was enthralled! I couldn’t stop clapping in delight. I always forget how much I love the ballet until I’m watching it. The kid sitting behind us pretty much lost his cool when the Chinese dancers came on, and loud-whispered “This is my FAVORITE PART! I love this part! It’s MY FAVORITE” and as if that wasn’t adorable enough, at the end of the ballet he yelled Yee Haw! His dad kindly suggested “Bravo” as a more venue-appropriate alternative, but he definitely got his point across.
My almost favorite part was at the end of Act I when the King and Queen of the Snow and all of the snowflakes are dancing. The stage looked like a snow globe, with fake snow fluttering from the ceiling and glittering all over the stage. It was stunning. Magical, indeed.
But my favorite part is the feeling I had watching the show. It made me feel like I did when I was a kid – I remembered the magic and wonder of Christmas. So you can imagine how I felt when I heard an ad on KCBS, a local radio station, about the Children’s Enchantment Fund, which provides under-served children and families the opportunity to see The Nutcracker free of charge.
It’s not cheap to experience the arts. I was lucky that Caitlin invited me, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to afford it. Most people never will go see the San Francisco Ballet. Most people will never even see a professional, live ballet performance. And you can bet your last dollar that a struggling urban parent is not going to be able to scrape together the cash to send their kid to the ballet. So if my couple dollars can help send even one child to see the ballet and experience the magic and wonder, and forget for just one night their daily struggles, well, it is money well spent. What a great program.
Want to Join Me in Giving? Donate to the Children’s Enchantment Fund to help send an under-served kid from the SF Bay Area to a night at The Nutcracker. If you’re not local, look into sponsorship programs for the arts in your community. Or even just consider donating to a community theater to support the arts.
***Photo Credit due here.***