Peter Tchaikovsky's Christmas ballet was played on tape for the rest of the dances that I found, including the Washington Ballet's production at the Warner Theatre which Sarah Kaufman criticized in a Washington Post article.
The sounds from a junior high or high school orchestra would be preferable to tape.
The only companies featuring live orchestras were Ballet West at the Kennedy Center and the Manassas Ballet Theatre at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William campus of George Mason University. Please correct me if I am wrong, and an abbreviated production is not the same.
For some Tchaikovsky enthusiasts, music is more important than ballet which may partially explain the consistent sell-out crowds in Manassas and why about half the audience came from outside Prince William and Loudoun counties, according to a show of hands at intermission requested by Mark Wolfe, the company's executive director.
It was worth every mile for the hike out to Manassas to listen. And to see.
Not only did real music add sparkle to an evening's enchantment, but the many young, adorable dancers added magic to the professionals' performances.
At intermission Mr. Wolfe was effusive in his praise of Macy's sponsorship whose divisional manager was invited onstage to address the audience as "you guys."
The advertisement did not detract from the entertaining evening which introduced many first-timers to excellent quality, surprising for a town with a population right under 40,000, and just down the road from many things to do in Washington, D.C.