The Nutcracker Ballet

Cassidy Kile, Staff Writer

The story of the Nutcracker, as you may have heard before, starts out as a party at the Stahlbaum’s on Christmas Eve. The Godfather of Clara and Fritz, Drosselmeyer, comes to the party and brings Clara a gift-the nutcracker. Fritz is jealous of the gift and breaks the nutcracker. Drosselmeyer fixes the nutcracker and places it under the tree. Clara has a dream which describes how she traveled with the nutcracker through the snow forest and the land of sweets. They watched very beautiful dances and had a fantastic evening. Clara then wakes up from her dream on Christmas day.

The Ballet Arts Center, a dance studio in Farmington, presents The Nutcracker Ballet every two years. Many dancers audition the spring before the performance. You must be a dancer from a dance school that is local to audition. During auditions, you are asked to warm up ahead of audition time. You also do different variations of different dances in the auditions. Once the auditions are over, the cast list is mailed to the family of the one who auditioned. When you receive the part, you must attend rehearsals.

Rehearsals usually start on the last weekend of August and last until the week before the performance. You are only allowed to miss two rehearsals and you cannot miss two weeks in advance of the performance. If you miss more than two days or during the two weeks prior to the performance, you may result in exclusion from the performance. During rehearsals, you only attend the part/parts you are. They’re usually on Sunday afternoons and evenings depending on the way the dance instructor wants to schedule things. You work hard to perfect the part the instructor casts you to. Once Thanksgiving weekend comes, professional New York Ballet dancers are asked to come for partnering in lead roles. The Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, and Arabian Princess are examples of lead roles. The girls who receive lead roles get to dance with the New York professionals in the performance. When the men from New York come, the dance instructor teaches them their roles to prepare for the performance.

There are two different casts, A and B, and each cast performs twice. If you are in Cast A, you perform on a Thursday and Saturday afternoon. If you are selected into Cast B, you perform on Friday night and Saturday night. Most of the older dancers are put into both casts, so they perform in all four performances. On Saturday, the dancers and their families all come together in a celebration of the successful year. Everyone gets a very good dinner and then the dancers return to their last performance of the year.