by Joshua Maloni
"Nutcracker" music keeps me up at night.
And it's not with visions of sugarplums, either.
It's more like visions of me stepping on small children, falling off the stage, or (more likely) messing up a simple dance routine.
Yes, I successfully made it through performing in the 2009 version of the Greater Niagara Ballet Co.'s "The Nutcracker." But, as I prepare for a second go-around, I'm still not convinced I belong on the same stage where dancers such as Rachael Fraser, Irek Muchalski, Tonya J. Milne, Mary Schnepf and Gréthe Gruarin once performed.
I hear Tchaikovsky and I hide under the blanket.
This man, I'm told, dedicated his life to music. So too, GNBC Artistic Director Beverley Feder has dedicated her life to dance. Her students have done the same.
The thought jiggling around me head like a bowl full of jelly is why they would risk their showcase production by adding a somewhat (OK, extremely) stiff-legged writer into the mix?
Two years in a row!
They arabesque, balancé and demi-plié.
I watch television, and occasionally twirl the remote around my hand (My pets are super impressed).
It's really not the same thing.
But, it was in watching last year's performance on DVD recently that I realized it doesn't matter what I do. ... Or don't do. ... Or do so comically bad I wind up on YouTube. Nobody -- save my parents and the occasional heckler -- cares how I dance. Assuming (fingers crossed) I don't trample anyone's offspring, the vast, vast majority of onlookers will attend this year's presentation of "The Nutcracker" to watch the next generation of Frasers, Muchalskis, Milnes, Schnepfs and Gruarins.After all, it's the dancers -- some so young and small they could fit in one's shirt pocket -- who are the real stars of the show. And it's the story of these dancers, and not this writer, that will grace the pages of this website in the weeks leading up to "The Nutcracker."