Chinese Tea

I saw The Nutcracker yesterday with Little Miss Sunshine. It has always bothered me that the Chinese Tea dance, which is my favourite tune in the whole piece, is so terribly short compared to all the other dances and scenes. Why, Tchaikovsky, why?


It’s barely a minute long. Is there any obligation by the ballets putting on The Nutcracker to stick to Tchaikovsky’s original score, note for note? Don’t they have some liberty with the “arrangement” to, say, double or triple the song so it lasts a decent amount of time?

Who’s up for picketing?

Option B as a Fairness Solution: reduce every other dance to be of similar length to the Chinese Tea dance. That would make the whole thing last about 1/2 an hour, which would have saved me an hour and a half of the Little Miss saying, “Is it over now? How much longer? It is over NOW?” Sigh.

And then, when we get home, she tells her father she loved it! Figures.

While I’m ranting, I thought I’d mention that during the drive home on the Queensway I realized how much I hate it when the middle lane of traffic is doing 100 km/hr, but the far left lane is doing 130. I just want to drive at a comfortable 110 to 115, is that too much to ask? Instead, I’m forced to weave in and out of the two lanes, always feeling intense pressure in the left lane to go faster than I really want to, or I have to slow it down and pretend I’m an old man in hat out for a Sunday drive.

This happens more often than you would think. Usually, funnily enough, when I am driving home from a ballet featuring too-short tea dances and a hundred requests for it to be over. PURE COINCIDENCE.

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5 thoughts on “Chinese Tea

  1. The Chinese Tea Dance? I’m sorry, Lynn, but for once you’re wrong. The March (no. 2) is awesome; surely even Dance of the Reed Pipes, not to mention Waltz of the Flowers, are far superior to the CTD. This is not an opinion, it’s documented fact :)

    • I absolutely take your word for it – I know nothing about classical music, really. But I do love the Chinese Tea dance. At the very least, I like it a LOT more than the Arabian Coffee dance and the Spanish Hot Chocolate dance, and yet, both of those are SO much longer (especially coffee, it’s like 1000 hours long, is it not?).

      I just want equality for all beverages :).

      • Heh, well of course my comment was meant facetiously – a veiled statement of opinion, nothing to do with who knows more about classical music. I do love Tchaikovsky though, he’s one of my top 3 favorite composers, and the March is one of the reasons.

  2. At least you made it… When I was pregnant (and I’m going to blame it on baby brain), I spent WAY too much money on Nutcracker tickets at the NAC to introduce my husband to the wonder that is the Nutcracker at Christmas.

    I got all dressed up in a sparkly maternity dress and, as we prepared to leave the house at 7:15 p.m. to get to the 8:00 p.m. showing, I checked the tickets. 7:00 p.m. Yup – we were standing in our front hall missing it. I had this weird moment of panic and then disbelief that the show was going on without us being there. How could they?

    The worst part? We weren’t in any rush and had absolutely nothing else on that day. We were just taking our time getting ready – and missing the show in the process.

  3. Oh dear, Tudor. That is horrible and FUNNY. And Lynn, I know NOTHING about ballet so I won’t comment. But, I do drive at about 130 km with everyone else and I SHOULD probably slow down a bit, so I think I’m with you on that one…. :)

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