By Janet Cruz
“The Nutcracker” is a beloved classic with often different adaptations, and is known by many around the world. This weekend, over 81 dancers with the Lake Havasu Ballet and special guest dancers with Footlight School Of Dance, will gather at the Lake Havasu High School Performing Arts Center and share the story of “The Nutcracker” with a twist Dec. 17 and 18.
“There is a whole culture in this city that forms around ‘The Nutcracker,'” Lake Havasu Ballet’s Artistic Director Nathan Cottam said. “Lake Havasu City has a very a unique opportunity because there wasn’t already a ‘Nutcracker’ ballet show here. We have people who come from as far as Alaska, and New Jersey who are here and grew up with the story of the nutcracker,” Cottam said. “They have been waiting for it to come to Lake Havasu.”
“The Nutcracker” showcases a night of adventure as the main character Clara in this particular show, is transported to a magical land where snowflakes dance, flowers waltz and toys come to life. Angels and The Sugar Plum Fairy dance along too.
Eight different levels of dance students from advanced to beginner, worked since early fall by holding auditions for certain roles, perfecting the choreography by choreographers Sarah Aitken, Marcus Bugler, Stephanie Schmidt, Ashleigh Ferris with Footlite School of Dance, and Nathan Cottam. Many volunteers instructors Julie Day, Kay Patel and Nancy Schweigert also created the sets. There are also handmade costumes by Kim Krick, JoAnn Cottam, Katie Kemp, Julie Day and Martha Ganes, and make up by Nadine Beaumont and Katie Kemp involved for the dancers and so much more to bring the show together.
” We have been doing 18 hours of rehearsals leading up to the show this week. On average since September, we did about 10 hours a week or so but we plan to do more next year,” Cottam said.
For tickets to “The Nutcracker,” visit www.lakehavasuballet.org. This weekend’s performances are Saturday, at 7 p.m., with an early showing Sunday, at 2 p.m., in the Lake Havasu High School Performing Arts Center located at 2675 Palo Verde Blvd. South.