One does not go to the ballet for a political showdown but, in among the dancing, that was what we got last night at the American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
According to the New York Times, “kids aside, the audience should be evenly split between harried Brooklyn moms and salivating balletomanes”. Yes, but I squeezed in too for what was a lovely new version choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky.
The excitement started even before the show when David H. Koch, the co-owner of Koch Industries, the largest privately-own industrial conglomerate in the US, came out on stage to talk about his $2.5m sponsorship of the production.
Most people applauded but there were also boos from near where I sat in the balcony, followed by an angry debate in the row in front of me, with one of the booers declaring “he’s an evil man” and a couple next to her telling her to “shut up” and to leave the theatre.