As the holiday season is upon us, it is a perfect time to reflect on moments in life that have become tradition. One tradition that sticks out in my mind is going to see The National Ballet of Canada’s production of The Nutcracker. I saw the production several times as a child and I remember being mesmerized by the magic of the story and at the possibility of toys coming to life after the fall of night. It made me feel a sense of wonder about the world and that anything in life was possible. The beautiful music by Tchikovsky would often fill our household in the we
eks leading up to seeing the show. My dad would often do that….play music of a show or musical that we were going to see live weeks prior so we had a connection to the story. At the time, I remember finding it strange. I remember saying…”dad do we have to listen to it again?”. But now, it all makes sense. It made the music come alive. It gave the story a context, and in turn, the memory of The Nutcracker (and every other show my dad introduced me too) has more significance so many years later. As an adult, I took a group of low-income kids, from the arts camp I was working at, to The Nutcracker. Many had never been in a professional theatre before and were simply in awe of the venue, the performance, the whole experience. They were amazed by everything they were seeing, but what struck me most was that they were seeing through different eyes now. The experience opened a door. A door to possibilities that weren’t there before the curtain rose and the dancers took to the stage. It is not only the stories from performances that teach us about life, but it is the productions themselves. Incredible things happen when we decide to work hard and flex our creativity with others. Did my campers walk away feeling like anything was possible for them? That the world was a magical place? I remember the sense of wonder I felt from seeing The Nutcracker as a child, would they remember 20 years later just like I did? You never know…they just might. Pass on the tradition and open a door this holiday season.