Yelitza is among the 25 fifth-graders at South Columbus Elementary, as well as 43 more at Davis Elementary, given this chance to feel important, thanks to music teacher Jymi Rafi's direction and the Columbus Ballet's generosity.
It's with the character of the Nutcracker that things get weird. Throughout the ballet, Junor Souza dances a masked version of the character while Vadim Muntagirov, who also plays the nephew of the magician Drosselmeyer (Fabian Reimair), dances him unmasked. The very apparent differences between the two dancers don't make things any less perplexing. "First he's black, then he's white. Who is he, Michael Jackson?" demanded one audience member in the first interval.
Chie Kudo is a ballerina from Japan. She has been the Sugar Plum Fairy for the last six years for the California Ballet. She says it is a traditional yet timeless piece that resonates with audiences of all ages.
“I try to keep it fresh,” said Kudo. “Every year, I have a new partner. It’s a challenge to meet someone and suddenly become their dance partner in two months. But it’s exciting. I learn something new everyday.”
As well, when first staged, the Nutcracker was part of a long night of music that began with Tchaikovsky’s final opera, Iolanta. By the time the second act of the ballet started, the clock had chimed midnight – and there is a limit to how long people want to stay in a concert hall, no matter how wonderful the evening.
This was the debut of Spartanburg's very own professional ballet company.
The boys and men dancing in the parlor scene verified that ballet is a manly thing to do, and the women and girls wore their period costumes and performed their dances with elegance. The Harlequin, Columbine and Toy soldier doll brought to the party by the mysterious and magical Herr Drosselmeyer ably performed by Mason Manna, danced with precision and technical skill.
So we decided to round up a few picture-perfect moments on Twitter this week to show everyone why we love "The Nutcracker" so much. From the intricate costumes to the makeup and tight buns, we found some great snaps... including some backstage selfies.
Ballet teachers talk about prepping young dancers to get on stage for Nutcracker.
In order to ensure that the students are comfortable with their routines before dress rehearsal, music is chosen and the entire choreography is completed ahead of time.
“Changing my mind about the steps I’ve just taught them is hard on the dancers, especially the little ones. Once taught, we repeat the same steps over and over. If someone makes a mistake, we stop and start again. We strive to teach them muscle memory so that they’re ready for the stage, where other elements are added,” said Benedict.
Michigan's Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs increases the amount of this year's grants to arts organizations.
Grand Rapids Ballet and West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology also were awarded two grants. WMCAT will receive a total of $53,777 while Michigan's only professional ballet company will get $39,000.
A review of Alabama Ballet's Nutcracker by Michael Huebner in The Birmingham News.
Company casts change. Dancers share top roles and take on corps de ballet positions when not in the spotlight. They move on – two examples being Tatiana Ledovskikh, whose Sugar Plum Fairy thrilled Birmingham audiences from 1995 to 2011, and alum Jennifer Lauren, who is dancing her first Sugar Plum Fairy (also Balanchine) for Miami City Ballet this season after leaving Alabama Ballet six years ago.
A review of Mobile Ballet's Nutcracker by Tamara Ikenberg in The Birmingham News.
Candy chemistry: As the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, married dancers and Mobile Ballet guest artists Vilia Putrius and Mindaugas Bauzys, are perfect poetry in motion. The elegant, accomplished principal dancers from Festival Ballet Providence performed their roles with boundless grace and joy. Kudos to Mobile Ballet Artistic Director Winthrop Corey for casting them! They are awesome in their solo scenes, but best when dancing together in perfect harmony.
The company also features many more boys and men than your average studio recital. And, in a modern twist, during the Snow Queen’s debut a corps of all-male dancers support soloist Elisabeth Scherer instead of the usual cavalcade of ballerinas. I can also say for certain that Mateo’s “Nutcracker” has the most adorable mouse war in the Greater Boston area.
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