The Brandeis Ballet Club performed its fourth annual production of The Nutcracker last Saturday and Sunday in the Carl J. Shapiro Campus Center Theater.
The Nutcracker is a play that follows Clara, a young girl who receives a toy Nutcracker for Christmas from her aunt Drosselmeyer. Throughout the production, the Nutcracker character comes to life and accompanies Clara while exploring an unknown land, where she faces off with the Rat Queen, dances with the snowflakes and is enamored by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The production of the Nutcracker is put on annually by the Brandeis Ballet Club and has grown and changed over the past four years. As explained by President Emeritus Hannah DeRoche ’19, ‘20 MA, “Our first performance of the Nutcracker was my sophomore year of my undergraduate career at Brandeis in 2016. It was a small, one time performance in Levin Ballroom where we mostly had friends and family in the audience.” She went on to elaborate that “this year, we had 2 packed shows in the SCC theater with a full sound and lighting crew, many brand new pieces, and many families from the Waltham community who we have never met but brought their children to enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker just to get into the holiday spirit!” In addition, unlike in past years, “the show is now completely a ballet showcase because we had, in the past, invited other performance groups to perform. Now the storyline makes more sense and is more true to the original ballet,” explained Emma Rivellese ’22.
On Jan. 3, Iran’s Major General Qasem Solemani, the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed in a targeted drone strike by U.S. forces at the command of President Donald Trump. Many have praised this operation, seeing Solemaini as an enemy responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers, and the Trump administration has claimed that he posed an imminent threat to U.S. forces in the region. Others have questioned if the threat was imminent and see the killing as a rash and poorly-timed decision that could destabilize an already volatile situation, endanger lives and start another Middle Eastern conflict. Do you believe the president was justified in ordering Soleimani’s killing, considering the broader context and the potential consequences? What do you make of Trump’s claim that Solemani posed an imminent threat to American lives in the region?