Gracious and inviting, Kawamura's exquisite control and delicacy of movement made the difficult variation look light and airy as a favorite confection. Sato leaped across the stage and ended his variation with multiple pirouettes in suitable bravura style.
The second act variations flowed across the stage, from the fiery Spanish dancers to the sensuous Arabian pas de deux. The Marzipans, led by Grace Medaugh, were precise and elegant, while the ever popular Russian dancers entertained with their jumps and turns.
In another departure from tradition, Mills had Clara and the Nutcracker Prince dance a pas de deux intertwined with the corps de ballet during the Waltz of the Flowers, taking the place of the Dew Drop Fairy. The finale of the second act was the pas de deux of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, which concluded with a virtuosic display of fouettes by Kawamura and pirouettes by Sato.
No review of “The Nutcracker” can be complete without mentioning the children, and as always, they were charming. From Party Children to Bon Bons, each year they seem to be technically more capable.
During the first act battle scene, Mills made a casting choice guaranteed to captivate and amuse the audience by introducing the tiniest child in the production as a plump little white mouse who spent a delightful moment chasing Clara in circles around the stage.
Accompanied by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Oklahoma City Ballet's “The Nutcracker” is not to be missed. It's a perfect way for the whole family to experience the beauty of ballet and the joy of the holiday season.
— Kathleen Redwine