I hadn't planned on it, but when our daughters got an invitation to audition for the Nutcracker once again, we decided it was worth the experience. Oleander, Skoshi A, and I spent all afternoon, Sunday, at the Kennedy Center while the two girls auditioned for a new production of George Balanchine's Nutcracker staged by the Pennsylvania Ballet. If you are familiar with George Balanchine's production of this story ballet, you know there are tons of children's parts to be had. This was a completely different experience from the auditions of last year, when the girls danced with the Joffrey Ballet. There were incredibly few parts available to my tall Oleander. In fact, there was only one dance that needed 6-8 dancers that she was the correct height for. There were dozens of parts available to Skoshi A, as a shorter dancer. Many of the dancers did not even have to actually audition. They were measured and then assigned a part based on their measurements. I found that very strange, to say the least.
In the end, Oleander was released, after a protracted argument between the dance masters and the artistic director about whether she was too tall. After measuring her again, they decided she was indeed too tall. She was disappointed, of course, but handled herself incredibly well. Skoshi A will be dancing with the Pennsylvania Ballet as a toy soldier. There go my weekends, at least through Thanksgiving. Still, I'm very proud of both of my dancers!