In utero, Little A was subjected to repeated listenings of The Nutcracker Suite in the first trimester as I drove to and from work. As a former professional dancer, it remains one of my favourites and is a staple on our music deck in the Christmas season. Even the staff at my shops love it, particularly the sole male store manager.
Fast forward to Little A’s boyhood, where he (through nature or nurture) discovers the love for classical music and orchestras. His anxiety and fear of new experiences have kept him from sitting in a darkened theatre, but he constantly watches orchestral productions on YouTube.
Last year, I took him to see an orchestra playing in a shopping mall, a familiar environment (I have a store there which he visits often) and with room for him to be active or noisy if he wished. He sat with eager anticipation for a full hour prior to showtime, and expressed disappointment that the orchestra lacked a harp and a bassoon.
The music was disappointing as they played only popular carols.
This year, The Nutcracker was on, and there would be an orchestra! I booked a box with the best view of the pit, assuming he wouldn’t watch the dancers onstage. He was brave going into the theatre, and made sure I kept an arm around him. But he sat, and to my amazement, thoroughly enjoyed Act I, watching the dancers and rooting for the Mouse King.
In Act II he lost patience, as did I, frankly, as the variations were extended needlessly to show off dancers and choreography that were not particularly stellar. Little A wanted to leave midway through Waltz of the Flowers, so we wandered around the theatre’s gallery section until the ballet was properly done.
Still, achievement unlocked! I was so proud of Little A, as were my parents, sister and niece, who accompanied us. Box 1 will be our seats of choice in shows to come. Who knows, we may end up with season tickets to the symphony in the future.