What's it about?
Nutcracker Rouge is based on the holiday classic. The plot deviates from the original Nutcracker by adding a whole lot of the goofy, the dramatic, and plain old sex appeal to keep you on your toes.
There is very little dialogue that is spoken throughout the show besides the basic narrative and song lyrics. Instead, everything is spoken through the language of dance. Everything the actors/dancers want you to feel and experience are shown to you rather than told to you. There is not a single moment in this show where I wasn’t either excited, in love, or in tears.
What'd I experience?
My level of excitement about seeing this show had risen to ridiculous levels by the time it was the day to actually watch. Everyone I had gushed about the show to responded with a variation of basically the same statement, “that is so you, Rafa” and god knows they’re right. I’m a fan of every genre but there is a special place in my heart for cabarets and burlesque shows. And it absolutely has to do with how sexualized everything and everyone is.
And I mean sexualized in the best way possible not in the “Hey, I have a great idea! We should totally sexualize this female (enter noun here) because we all know sex sells!” but in the “look at how tastefully these dancers glide on the stage wearing nothing but some leather straps and a cup but still keeping it real classy” type of sexualized.
In the beginning of Nutcracker Rouge, I thought things were going to be a lot different than how it turned out to be and in a good way. First, I believed that the story was going to be strictly the Nutcracker except men and women would be decked out in wonderfully gaudy and scandalous costumes. Second, I thought the show was going to be dark and a smidge bit depressing as well. But man was I wrong.
Instead, the show deviates from the normal Nutcracker plot and creates a world of its own. In Nutcracker Rouge this story is now about a girl who gets lost and slowly begins to find herself by coming to terms with her sexual side. In the beginning of the show, I would describe the main girl as timid and often quite boring. But as the show progresses, I can visually see this timid girl becoming a confident woman just by the way she interacts and participates in the sexual misadventures of the interesting characters around her. Not only that, but at the start of the show the girl was wearing a shawl and a humongous poofy dress that was a stark contrast to the nakedness around her. But as the show went on her costume changed and began to reveal more and more of her until finally she became a beautiful seductive sugar plum fairy that is wearing close to nothing.
Unlike most girls, I don’t shy away from the topic of sex. I had before but something drastic changed me during my junior year of high school. I’m not totally sure what it was exactly, maybe it was the sudden influx of hormones that made me stop going “ewwwwwww” every time someone said the word sex or maybe I just stopped acting like a 5 year old. Either way, no complaining here. I thank god every night for the sudden change.
A lot of my close friends would characterize me as being lewd or a straight up pervert. I don’t really have any decency around the topic; I joke and attempt to discuss the most NSFW things in probably the worst moments. But in truth, I just really like how moderately taboo the topic is. Sex is pretty low on the taboo list - compared to other serious and controversial topics like suicide, gender equality and the most dreaded, politics. It’s difficult to make someone angry when you joke about sex, it’s almost too easy to make someone angry when you joke about feminism.
Growing up in my household sex has always been a no no. To the point where my parents never even gave me the “talk.” Instead, one day while my mom and I were going to the grocery store when I was about 10 she looked at me and asked a very simple question. “Do you know what sex is?” and immediately I nodded my head yes and the conversation was over. That’s it. That was the last time we ever talked about it. I’m almost positive my mom believes sex is just a way to make babies, not a way to enjoy yourself. Growing up immersed in a culture that values modesty and religion really drills that ideology in a person I suppose.
I appreciated Nutcracker Rouge because in a way it visualizes the internal battles that I have fought with coming into terms with my own sexuality. I was terrified of it all, timid and shy and almost felt insulted when someone would bring up the topic. I always thought it was okay for a guy to be lewd but thought it to be absolutely wrong for a girl to be. Slowly I was finally able to realize that sexuality isn’t something a girl should be ashamed of.
Everyone should be allowed to embrace how they feel and not be scared or embarrassed. We’re all human beings and we all feel the same way, why not indulge in the feeling from time to time? Just let your inner sugar plum fairy out and see where it takes you. Who knows?