It’s a familiar story: Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, a wooden Nutcracker…but in this contemporary version of the Christmas classic, the dancers in pointe shoes are joined by everything from martial arts mice to angels that really fly!
Since 2011, Springs Dance has been regularly producing their remixed and re-imagined nutcracker by adding new music, exciting dance styles, and even aerialists and acrobats. “Our angels really fly!” says producer Anne Lauritzen. The 2021 production is extra special, marking a return to a traditional theater setting that these performers haven’t been in for almost two years.
“Our dancers have had to navigate remote learning, practicing in isolation, social distancing, quarantines and moving to outdoor performances,” explains artistic director Laura Ross. “They’ve shown remarkable determination and creativity throughout. But we are thrilled to be able to be back on stage in the
A production of this level takes months of preparation and large upfront cost. The ongoing pandemic forced producers to make the decision to go forward with the show without the benefit of certainty. “On audition day we were still acting on faith. So much could go wrong. There could be lockdowns, we could end up with a key cast member in quarantine, the theater could restrict audience sizes,” says Ross, “Getting comfortable with uncertainty is another skill we’ve had to learn during this strange time.” Armed with understudies, communication with the theater and the occasional remote rehearsal, opening night is fast approaching.
Both performers and theater are working together to make sure that everyone involved in the production is safe. The Ent Center for the Arts requires all audience members to be masked, creates additional space between performers and audience by blocking off the first three rows in the auditorium and even performers remain masked until just before coming on stage.
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