Nutty Nutcracker

Olivia Doak, News Editor

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Every year, Judith Svalander School of Ballet puts on the Nutcracker at the Woodstock Opera House. This year, two Central students were involved in the production. Alexa Glomp and Tori Barrington, both juniors at CLC, are part of the company at Judith, the elite group of dancers at the studio. They have put in countless hours of preparation and rehearsals since late summer. And it certainly paid off.

In case you are not familiar with the story of the Nutcracker, it starts out in the home of a girl named Clara on Christmas Eve. The family is all together when her godfather arrives and gives gifts to the children. He gives Clara a nutcracker, and only moments later, a little boy named Fritz breaks it. Later, she finds it miraculously repaired and peacefully drifts off to sleep. In her dreams, the Nutcracker becomes a real prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy materializes to take her on a magical journey.

Overall, the performance was breathtaking. The combined effect of the costumes, music, and talent made the show unforgettable. The grace and poise of the dancers was mesmerizing and took the audience to a different time and place. Every movement was smooth and effortless, and every dancer looked completely natural and at home on stage.

However, there is a lot occurring backstage in which the audience is completely oblivious. Sometimes, there is adversity that takes grace and character to overcome.

For instance, occasionally things just go horribly wrong. At a previous performance, one of the dancers got a bloody nose two minutes before she had to go on stage. So, the male dancer, who was her partner for that dance, had to go onstage and improvise. Another time, the pre-recorded music that the studio uses for the show mysteriously got paused right before Alexa went on stage. When the music should have begun to play, there was silence. Not knowing what to do, Alexa and her partner continued the dance. However, they ended up doing the set twice, and needless to say, nobody was very happy,

It is amazing that the dancers can deal with everything that can and does go wrong in addition to the nerves that go along with performing. For Alexa and Tori, the anticipation before performing has lessened considerably since they started dancing about fourteen years ago. Alexa said that “it has come to the point where I’m just so comfortable on stage that I don’t really get nervous anymore.” For Tori, the nerves kick in when she is pushed to do a variation that is more difficult. But no matter what, Tori says that “you just have to go on stage and dance.” As the new year approaches, it’s important to remind ourselves to do things that may be challenging as Tori and Alexa did during The Nutcracker. After all, the most personal growth occurs when we go out of our comfort zones.

 

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