Historic Scavenger Hunt Highlights Ballet Society’s ‘A Colorado Nutcracker’
An historic-themed scavenger hunt centering around the primary characters of the Colorado Youth Ballet’s A Colorado Nutcracker will take place between Saturday, Nov 18, and Sunday, Dec 3, 2017, as a kick-off promotion for this production. Colorado Ballet Society’s annual Nutcracker will be performed at the Pikes Peak Center with the Colorado Youth Ballet, the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, and the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale on Wednesday, December 20, at 7pm and Thursday, December 21, at 4pm and 7pm.
“In honor of Ballet Society’s twentieth anniversary season, we planned to create a special version of The Nutcracker highlighting our city’s founding families,” shares Ballet Society and Youth Ballet founder and director, Patricia Hoffman. “At each scavenger hunt location players can have fun learning more about the unique history of the Front Range region. This is such a great community to be part of and it has a rich legacy worth celebrating.”
Scavenger Hunt participants will solve simple clues to unlock each location where they will take selfies and upload to either Facebook or Instagram while tagging Colorado Ballet Society in the posted photos. #NutcrackerScavengerHunt is the suggested hashtag. Each qualifying participant will be entered into a random drawing where they have a chance to win one of the following donated prizes: a night at The Antlers Hotel; a night at Glen Eyrie Castle; a gift certificate from The McAllister House Museum for a private tea for four; and $92 value in tickets to attend A Colorado Nutcracker this December. See full list of instructions and rules at: danceinthesprings.com.
“This production has been in the works for more than two years and audiences will be delighted with the new costumes, backdrops, and set pieces,” claims Ballet Society’s production manager, Hillary Moseley. “It’s the beloved classic tale-set in 1907 Colorado Springs.”
New backdrops setting the stage depict The Antlers Hotel, the Great Hall at Glen Eyrie, and a winter scene of Garden of the Gods. Images were created by Katherine Marie Photography and American Photo Treks, who are official sponsors of the production.
“It’s a great honor to take on portraying such a well-known figure here in Colorado Springs,” says Cole. “I find it remarkable that most people know about his role in the development of Colorado Springs, but have no idea that he was also a highly decorated War Hero. I have been narrating for this production for seven years now and I love seeing the kids’ excitement every year. Backstage is always buzzing before the show as the dancers are all ripe with excitement and anticipation. Then when the curtain goes up, they are focused and nail their performances. It’s truly fun to watch and be a part of.”
A Colorado Nutcracker portrays Palmer and his daughters entertaining the children of Colorado Springs at a special Christmas Eve celebration, just as they were known to do. This tradition was initiated by his deceased wife, Queen, who loved the children of Colorado Springs. Local students of the time returned her affection and according to its website Queen Palmer Elementary School is named after her.
Guest artists in the production this year are Kate, and Dex Honea, principal artists of Sarasota Ballet in Florida; and Matthew Helms, principal dancer with Boulder Ballet. Dex is featured as Nikola Tesla (in the role of Drosselmeyer) and Kate appears as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Helms is making a return appearance as the Snow King.
A Colorado Nutcracker imagines workers of the Salvation Army escorting local orphans to Glen Eyrie on Christmas Eve. Also attending the event are several other significant families and characters including: Julie and Spencer Penrose, founders of the Broadmoor Hotel, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Will Rogers Shrine, and the CS Fine Arts Museum; Josephine and Charles Tutt, Black Forest ranchers, co-owners with Spencer Penrose of the ‘Cash On Delivery’ gold mine in Cripple Creek; and Elizabeth and Henry McAllister. Henry McAllister served under General William Jackson Palmer in the Civil War and was instrumental in the foundation of Colorado College. Also in attendance is world famous and reclusive electrical scientist, Nikola Tesla, who constructed and operated an electrical station near the site of the Colorado Springs Deaf and Blind school in 1899. Tesla and was known throughout the world for his scientific research and experiments with electricity.
Palmer was a railroad magnate who founded the city in 1871 and built Glen Eyrie Castle as the primary residence for his family. He also the founded The Antlers Hotel. Both original structures of Glen Eyrie and The Antlers Hotel were destroyed by fire. Although Palmer’s wife, ‘Queen’, was diagnosed with a hereditary cardiac valve problem when she experienced declined health in 1884, she delayed her physician’s orders to return to sea level elevation, for a full year. During that time, she helped lay out plans and set the groundwork for Glen Eyrie’s reconstruction with stone – to be impervious to flame - in case she should return. The stone castle was completed in 1906-the same year in which Palmer was paralyzed in a horseback riding accident in Garden of the Gods.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the Pikes Peak Center and Broadmoor World Arena Box Offices; over the phone at 888-929-7849; or online.
General information on the Colorado Ballet Society is available online at: danceinthesprings.com
Figure 1 Nutcracker Prince, Jared Guest; Clara, Elizabeth Worf; Snow Queen, Emma Michaux; Snow King, Matthew Helms-Guest Artist and Principal dancer of Boulder Ballet PC Katherine Marie Photography
Figure 2 Nutcracker Prince at Scavenger Hunt location PC Kayla Coburn