Award-winning dancers of the Colorado Ballet Society and the Colorado Youth Ballet will perform fourteen in-person shows of The Nutcracker, November 24 thru December 19 with evening performances and Saturday matinees at the Colorado Springs Christian School, 4855 Mallow Road in Colorado Springs. 50 cast members will bring this classic tale to life with Tchaikovsky’s cherished score.
Colorado Ballet Society and the Colorado Youth Ballet, have prepared a reworked version of their production to wow audiences this holiday season!
“For dancers and the performing arts, as a whole, 2020 has been full of uncertainty,” explains Ballet Society and Youth Ballet founder and director, Patricia Hoffman. “In addition to canceling various performances and full-length classical ballets this past season, many dance companies, schools, and studios are now calling off the beloved holiday tradition of The Nutcracker. Colorado Ballet Society and the Youth company still want families to be able to experience all the magic of The Nutcracker this year; and we are excited to present this ballet to the Pikes Peak Region.”
“It has been such a gift to be able to work on a production that brings so much joy to people’s lives in such a strange year as 2020 and give them that sense of normalcy and excitement,” shares Laci Landry, Colorado Ballet Society instructor and choreographer. “Performing arts events this year are rare and I’m so excited that we have the opportunity to still present this production to the community in a safe way.”
“Colorado Ballet Society is always consistent in providing beautiful productions for the community to enjoy and it is a great privilege to be a part of it,” reveals Gabriella Vidano, Colorado Dance Theatre’s 2017 Esther Geoffrey Scholarship recipient, who will be performing as Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy, and Arabian Coffee. “Ms. Patty continuously adds creative twists and unique roles to make the Nutcracker special and memorable.”
“It is a blessing to dance in this production this year!” exclaims Alea YunCai Brown, CSDT’s 2019 Esther Geoffrey Jazz Scholarship recipient, who will be performing as Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy, and Arabian Coffee. “Many students and professionals are not able to perform this year; I am so grateful that Ms. Patty has designed a Nutcracker for the Colorado Youth Ballet that allows us to continue the magic of the Nutcracker season.”
This year, Colorado Ballet Society has created a way to accommodate health and safety guidelines while maintaining their high-quality of dance.
“The story is still the classic Nutcracker with all the beloved characters and there is even the addition of a few new roles which include some of my personal favorites, Columbine and Harlequin, life-sized dolls Drosselmeyer brings to life during the party scene,” explains Landry. “The production looks quite different this year with a smaller venue, cast, and audience capacity. Much of the choreography is brand new this year or adapted to fit the venue with smaller cast sizes, which has given us a wonderful opportunity to really highlight the individual dancers in each piece and let them shine. The dancers are getting the opportunity to dance different roles and it is bringing a lot of excitement and new life to the roles for the dancers.”
“I love the choreography within each of the roles,” says Vidano. “It is a wonderful feeling to get lost within the music and just dance for pure enjoyment. I am so excited to be performing on stage in front of a live audience. The feeling is quite incredible and makes me especially happy.”
“I am very excited to be revisiting Sugarplum Fairy and Arabian this year and exploring those characters further,” shares Brown. “I also have the honor of performing Snow Queen which has been a dream role of mine since I first saw Colorado Ballet Society’s Nutcracker in rehearsal when I was 9-years-old.”
“My favorite part of bringing these characters to life on stage is individualizing each of their personalities and characteristics to how I perceive them,” adds Vidano. “I think it’s really important that each character has their own style because they are unique and different from other characters in the Nutcracker.”
Colorado Ballet Society is celebrating twenty-three years of dance in the Springs; and the Colorado Youth Ballet is hitting its seventeenth season with their fourteenth production of the Nutcracker.
“Each of the company members are so incredibly talented and are always eager to learn and make the performance even better each year,” explains Vidano. “They are so fun to work with and I enjoy making new memories and performing with such dedicated dancers.”
“I love the professionalism of the Colorado Youth Ballet,” declares Brown. “They present productions at the level of many collegiate programs.”
“The level of technique and professionalism brought to the stage by Colorado Youth Ballet is beyond most schools I have experienced and even some professional companies,” confirms Landry. “Colorado Ballet Society is committed to helping each student reach their full potential through building a strong technical foundation and promoting healthy and happy dancers.”
“I appreciate Colorado Youth Ballet’s dedication to finding many opportunities for its members,” shares Brown. “I have grown so much as a dancer, artist, and performer through each of those unique opportunities and through the wonderful training program and instructors Colorado Ballet Society provides!”
“This is my last year dancing with the Colorado Youth Ballet. My experiences with the company have created a wonderful foundation for the next chapter of my ballet career,” notes Vidano. “I just want to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Patty and the Colorado Ballet Society for this opportunity.”
“Colorado Ballet Society is dedicated to giving our students as many performing prospects we can,” says Hoffman. “And this year is no exception.”
Colorado Youth Ballet’s one-hour production of The Nutcracker is a perfect length for children and adults alike. It will capture your imagination and transport you to a magical world of toy soldiers, dancing snowflakes, and the delightful Land of Sweets filled with your favorite fanciful characters and pure holiday magic.
“This adaptation of Nutcracker allows for those who annually attend Nutcracker to keep the tradition,” says Brown. “It also allows for families with younger children to attend without the crowds of a large production.”
“For many people, the Nutcracker is part of their beloved holiday traditions, and you do not have to miss it this year!” encourages Landry. “Join us for a beautiful night of dance and artistry and support these young local artists.”
Figure 1: Evelyn Gohl as Clara in the Party Scene | PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 2: Gabriella Vidano and Ryland Acree as Snow Queen and King | PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 3: Alea YunCai Brown as the Sugar Plum Fairy| PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 4: Gabriella Vidano as Spanish | PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 5: Snow Scene | PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 6: Dew Drop Fairy, Waltz of the Flowers, and Butterflies | PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 7: Josie Hawkins as Spanish | PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 8: Drosselmeyer and Battle Mice | PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography Figure 9: Julia Stark as Arabian Coffee | PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 10: Dan Brown as Lead Chinese | PC: Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography