Indulgence comes with the holiday territory. And, in the spirit of the season, the frothy and the sticky sweet seem to be allowed if just this once. Eggnog and bread pudding. Holiday-themed movies of dubious merit. The more, the merrier.
Take The Nutcracker ballet, for instance. Same story year after year. But for those of us in Phoenix, we have reason to indulge and go back each December. Ib Andersen’s recent re-production of the quintessential holiday ballet tossed out the old instead importing fashion-forward designer Fabio Toblini. Though trained in Milan and at Parson’s The New School for Design in New York City, Toblini wasn’t constrained by the shackles of ballet tradition in this, his first, ballet project. Applying his unique perspective, he heightened the level of whimsy and risk of each design to create an entirely new experience for the audience.
Three favorite and most notable of his designs from this re-make:
Toblini brought edge to the ballet by reinventing the Marzipan into fancifully sculpted candy canes. The risqué fishnet tights and lace half-gloves were a shocking delight juxtaposed against the Dr. Suess-inspired candy cane striped dresses.
The snowflake costume is worthy of a Paris runway and arguably a precursor to several trends that have recently emerged—the feather headpieces made famous by Laura Kravitz, and the willowy silhouette, a subject of controversy when Project Runway contestant Kensley knocked-off the Alexander McQueen feather dress.
But it’s the divinely inspired angel costumes that take the audience’s breath away. The tall wings (more vertical instead of the usual horizontal wing placement) are reminiscent of a baroque nativity painting brought to life.
So, even if ballet is not your thing, purely from a show packaging, production and design standpoint, we recommend Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker as a must-see for all who live in Phoenix or visit during the holidays. Besides, this sugar plum won’t add inches to your waistline.