A holiday treat: ‘Clara and The Nutcracker’ comes to the Miners Foundry
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Holt Ballet Conservatory and Miners Foundry Cultural Center present “Clara and The Nutcracker”
WHEN: Thursday and Friday, Dec. 12 and 13. Box Office 6 p.m., doors 6:30 p.m., show 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec.14, Box Office noon, doors 12:30 p.m., dhow 1 p.m.
WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City
TICKETS: $22/GA, $16 18 and under. Tickets available online and in person or by phone at the Miners Foundry, 530-265-5040.
This holiday season the Holt Ballet Conservatory and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center will present “Clara and The Nutcracker,” Yelena Holt’s retelling of the classic story “The Nutcracker Suite” by E.T.A. Hoffmann, featuring choreography by Royal Ballet’s famous choreographer Marius Petipa. The evening showcases an array of dancers, from youngsters making their stage debut as dancers to professional guest artists, and all levels in between.
Holt’s tale of The Nutcracker follows the title character of Clara, whose Christmas present of a toy nutcracker solider inspires a magical journey to a fantastical world of magical delights. These beloved scenes are set against the beautiful backdrop of Tchaikovsky’s music, plus colorful costumes and a spectacular set that transports the audience through time.
“The studio has been growing and we have more talented dancers than ever before,” explains Holt, director, Holt Ballet Conservatory. “The dancers always look forward to the Nutcracker — dressing up and performing in front of such large and welcoming audiences — it really is the pinnacle of the year.”
This year’s cast features several new dancers along with audience favorites in new roles. New dancers include Luna Quaglia as Clara, Sierra Fuentes as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Hannah Sheffo as the Snow Queen. Jerusha Horlick reprises her role as the Mouse King. Christopher Selbie formerly of David Taylor Dance Theatre, Zikr, and the Dawson/Wallace Dance Project of Denver, Colorado, returns for the fourth year as this year’s Cavalier.
“It is always a pleasure to dance this role, with its beautiful music and the culmination of the ballet,” says Selbie. “I am immensely grateful to Yelena and Amy (Schultze, Stage Manager) for creating the atmosphere and training to put together a production of such high quality, year after year. The Holt Ballet Conservatory offers amazing training for our small town and produces some incredibly talented young dancers. It has been inspiring to see them grow their skills and performance quality each year.”
High-school senior Sierra Fuentes has danced in three Nutcrackers, but this will be her first time in the iconic role as the Sugar Plum Fairy. It is an opportunity that she says she’s been eagerly waiting for much of her young life.
“As a young dancer I always looked up to the older girls who danced in these standout roles, and now I know the younger girls will be looking up to me,” says Fuentes. “The Land of the Sweets scene is not only an important story line in the ballet, it is a scene everyone looks forward to, and because of that, it’s very important to add depth to the character and strength to the dance, so the audience is left dazzled.”
For the first time, Holt has added new scenes and new roles to accommodate the increase in dancers at Holt Ballet Conservatory. Specifically, there is a new “Arabian Dance” choreography that features Miriam Allen, and a unique, more contemporary version of the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” that showcases dancers Allen, Anderson and Fuentes.
“This year’s production features some great dancing, with very strong and gifted upper level dancers performing en pointe and pre point,” says Holt. “They bring a lot of strength and beauty to the core work.”
The Miners Foundry will bring in risers to assure attendees will be able to see the dancer’s footwork. Its beautiful stone walls will also be festively decorated for the holidays, adding to the charm and magic of each performance, and attendees are welcome to enjoy a warm cider with friends and family around the historic fireplace in the Stone Hall.
“Our collaboration with the historic Miners Foundry makes for a great evening; a great experience,” says Holt. “The Miners Foundry is the perfect setting for this holiday tradition.”
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