Okay, we understand the leading role in this classic holiday tale is kind of a big deal for all tutu-sporting twirlers with pointy-toe aspirations. But what about the other star? No, not Clara the Nutcracker Prince. Its often overlooked that the dude onstage is just as excited to be there as the gal hes spinning, throwing and catching.
Everyone wants to be a prince, says Linnar Looris, who will dance the role of the Nutcracker Prince for the Houston Ballet in todays opening performance. Just as getting to be the Fairy or Cinderella is a top achievement for the ladies, being crowned the role of Prince is a major mark of accomplishment for the gents.
You want to be the prince in any big ballet, not only Nutcracker. You want to be [the prince] in Swan Lake and you want to do Cinderella and all these great ballets, says Looris, a native Estonian who was recently promoted to soloist. The Nutcracker Prince was his first prince role, but he says every reincarnation brings the same excitement.
Its always a special feeling to do Nutcracker even if its 35 shows, it doesnt matter, its always something different, he says, and adds that he dances every night as if it were his last. Who knows what could happen tomorrow: Maybe the world comes to an end [or] the financial crisis hits everybody so hard they shut down everything, he says and laughs.
Its hard to think that ballerinas (or ballerinos) are thinking of economics as they leap and bound across the stage, but apparently thats not all thats on their minds.
When you have a free moment, then you would maybe think, like, Oh, what am I going to have for dinner? or something. But its those kinds of moments when you dont actually do anything, like sometimes when you stand, he says, and assures us that when hes in motion hes thinking of steps and counts, not stocks and sandwiches.
When you get a little easier parts on the stage, then your mind sometimes wanders around, but then you kind of catch yourself, like, Hey, what are you doing? Just come back, he says. Its just like a millisecond or something. See if you can catch Looris in a moment of contemplation when he dances as the Prince next to ol whats her name at 7:30 p.m. today, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. The show runs through December 28. For tickets and a complete schedule, call 713-227-2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org. $25 to $99.
Fri., Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 16-23, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Nov. 26, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 29, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 30, 2 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 6, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 7, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 12, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 13, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 20-24, 2 p.m.; Dec. 26-28, 2 p.m., 2008