Principal dancers, Dex and Kate Honea, and Joe Cole of FOX21 news are the featured guest artists joining the Colorado Ballet Society and the Colorado Youth Ballet, for the 2018 production of A Colorado Nutcracker at the Pikes Peak Center in four performances on Saturday, December 22, at 2pm & 7pm; and Sunday, December 23, 2018, at 1pm and 5pm.
“We are honored to have such talented and dedicated professionals joining our production again this year,” says Ballet Society and Youth Ballet founder and director, Patricia Hoffman. “Dex is the perfect mysterious Nikola Tesla who embodies our Drosselmeyer character, and Kate is the quintessential Sugar Plum Fairy. Joe Cole made a spectacular transition from narrator of the show into starring as General Palmer last year. We are thrilled that he has agreed to join us again to reprise that role!”
“This production has a connection to Colorado Springs and its history, making it one of kind,” claims guest artist, Dex Honea. “It is full of beautiful sets that depict the local scenery and characters that people recognize. It is a privilege to portray a real person with a history in Colorado Springs. Tesla’s influence is electrifying-both on and off the stage! A Colorado Nutcracker is a wonderful story which everyone can enjoy and will complete their holiday spirit.”
Dex Honea danced professionally for fifteen years with Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Eugene Ballet Company and Sarasota Ballet and directed the Sarasota Ballet School for five years until recently transitioning into professional photography.
His wife, Kate Honea, will also be guesting in the role of Sugar Plum Fairy. Kate joined Sarasota Ballet in 2002 and was promoted to Principal in 2009.
“When I was a young child and first saw The Nutcracker, I was entranced by the Sugar Plum Fairy's magical presence,” shares Kate. “How she barely touched the floor in her famous solo, and how she interacted with all the young dancers and characters onstage had me mesmerized. I hope to create that same feeling when I perform this role and to inspire other young dancers to follow their dreams. I love how this production is so family friendly and appropriate for all ages. One of my favorite parts is coming on with the Sugar Babes and also getting to meet and take pictures with audience members after the show.”
The opening scene of A Colorado Nutcracker shows the officers of the Salvation Army escorting local orphans to Glen Eyrie for the traditional Christmas Eve celebration at the home of railroad magnate and Colorado Springs’ founder, General William Palmer. Nikola Tesla is seen making his final party preparations at the historic Antlers Hotel, before heading out to the castle with some electrifying surprises for the General’sguests.
FOX21 News Director, Joe Cole, is General William Palmer who also narrates the enchanting story from his unique perspective.
“I’m thrilled to be asked back for the performance. It’s an honor to take part in the show. Historically General Palmer was such a prominent figure and so well known in the region,” says Cole. “It’s so unique to bring back someone with such a storied history. I receive feedback about the Nutcracker throughout the year from people in the community. One of the things they really love is how Patty has transformed the production to reflect the local community and history of the area. It’s such a refreshing twist, but the best part of performing with this group is hands down the people, especially the children. The excitement they exude while rehearsing is so fun to be a part of. You can’t help but to be inspired and fueled by their tireless energy and excitement. Such a talented group and so fun to watch them perform from behind the scenes. Great athletes and performers.”
“Providing the music for our Nutcracker this year are the professional musicians of the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, with Thomas Wilson conducting and the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale,” says Hoffman. “We are pleased that this beloved ballet features both the unique heritage of the Front Range region and showcases local talent. This production celebrates both our roots and our future as a community with over 170 talented local performers in each show.”
Who: Colorado Youth Ballet and Colorado Ballet Society with professional dancers and performers
What: A Colorado Nutcracker - features 170 local dancers,60 musicians from the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, and vocalists from the CS Children’s Chorale
When: Saturday, December 22, at 2pm & 7pm; Sunday, December 23, at 1pm & 5pm
Where: Pikes Peak Center ~ 190 South Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs
Tickets: $18 to $46 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
Figure 1: A Colorado Nutcracker features Dex Honea in the character of world famous electrical scientist, Nikola Tesla Photo by: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 2: Kate Honea as Sugar Plum FairyPhoto by: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 3: Joe Cole (seated) portrays Colorado Springs founder General William Palmer Photo by: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 4: Battle Scene Photo by: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figures 5-7: by Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography