There's a formula I once jotted down on the back of a receipt for a black silk suit, a formula dictated to me by one of the world's premier Jungian psychologists. It hypothesized the number of times an action (any action) had to be performed before it entered the holy yet familiar halls of the collective unconscious, before it became a shared memory of all of us -- whether we'd seen it or not.
That formula is hard to read now, as it was unfortunately dry-cleaned with the suit in Paris, but by my calculations, "The Nutcracker" has passed before the eyes of humanity in sufficient quantities to become a part of our collective myth. Someday soon, children will be born in places without electricity and their first dreams will be of Clara's forbidden dalliance with the Mouse King; old women who have lived whole lives in monasteries on the moon will recall, one evening as the earth sets, the heroism of a man of wood made flesh by the love of a girl made woman by the heroism of a man.
And when the world is remade again out of the weathered scraps of long-felled temples, new tribes will begin their celebrations with new songs and someone will dance the first steps of a ballet that began a long time before in an otherwise forgotten place and time.
Item N§ 53"The Cracked Nut."
Specs: A twist on the classic from Perceptions Dance Company.
Availability: Dec. 15-16, Scottish Rite Auditorium.
To order: www.perceptionsdancecompany.com.
Item N§ 54Concert Ballet of Virginia's
Specs: Clara, the mice and a woody man, dancing, dancing.
Availability: Nov. 30-Dec. 16, Monacan High School and elsewhere.
To order: 798-0945.
Item N§ 55Richmond Ballet's "The Nutcracker."
Specs: The heroes shrink, the sets grow large, the Richmond Symphony ties it together.
Availability: Dec. 14-23, Landmark Theater.
To order: 344-0906. SBack to the Cover Story