Friday, December 16, 2011

The Nutcracker and Dogs

Florian is through with his Nutcracker season, and I am through watching, supporting, and yes even participating for this year. 

Since I met Florian I've seen scads of Nutcrackers but somehow it never gets old. 

I find the traditional story--of a little girl who is transported to a beautiful land where people wear colorful costumes and dance the traditions of cultures all over the world, where all those different cultures appreciate each other and dance together harmoniously and with big smiles--to be so moving. All these people are not at war with each other, they're not enslaving each other or taxing each other or exploiting each other, they're just dancing. 

All the more moving because the little girl finds, at the end, that it was all a dream. 

Even in the non-traditional Nutcracker we both did this year--where Florian danced the part of a sailor and of a tin soldier doll, and I acted a part that consisted solely of being angry and stomping on my stage boyfriend's foot--I get a bit choked up. 

OK, not during the sailor dance.  That one is just silly.

But the tin soldier and the ballerina doll are just inanimate dolls until they touch each other, at which point they come to life and dance.

For some reason as I stood backstage watching my little tin soldier and our beautiful friend Ashley, the ballerina, what I kept thinking about was--dogs. 

Little scrumpy baby puppy dogs like my Sandy, who want nothing more than to be touched and loved. 

Touch them, and they come to life with wiggles and wags and endless snorty grunting kisses.

They don't ask for much and they bring so much beauty and joy into the world.

We have the power of life or death over them, and as much as we abuse that power they still give us nothing but love. Like the people who exist only in our dreams and our stories, they are always ready to smile, always full of joy and appreciation for us.

So when we got finished with our Nutcracker, we went straight home to our own little fairy tale. 

There we were covered with wet snorting kisses from our diverse little crew of people from all different backgrounds, all getting along and all animated and full of life and love for no other reason than that they were close to the people who care for them, just like the tin soldier and his ballerina doll.


  1. What a beautiful analogy! Glad you and Florian had a successful season.

  2. Beautiful...both the gorgeous ballet photos and your thoughts on your own "fairy tale." Loved it.

  3. Hats off to a successful season! Wishing your family a wonderful Christmas!

  4. Hi Kirsten, and that's why my mom and dad have four of us:)

  5. Aw, that was so sweet. I loved it.

  6. LOVE the Nutcracker! Would have loved seeing your non-traditional version, too! Such fun!

    The Road Dogs' Mom

  7. I've never thought about the Nutcracker in this way before. When it comes down to it, dogs really do relate to everything human, don't they? The only time I have seen it live was when my aunt took me to a performance in Toronto when I was a little girl. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life at that point and I will never forget it.

    I am glad this year's performances went so well and you got a chance to participate. What an experience!


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