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Ballet's 'Nutcracker' suite experience for all ages

Notes from a Sunday afternoon in the Land of Sweets

Posted: December 22, 2008 2:58 a.m.
Updated: December 22, 2008 2:33 a.m.

The Santa Clarita Ballet Company staged the final two performances of "The Nutcracker" Sunday afternoon and evening at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons.

Russian composer Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky's two-act, three-scene fairy-tale ballet, premiered in Russia in 1892, has since become one of his best-known works around the world, and part of Christmas tradition here in the United States.

At the Performing Arts Center, Corinne Glover and Carol Guidry, the Santa Clarita Ballet Company's executive director and artistic director, gave a brief introduction before the matinee, welcoming the many familes and young people in the audience, and noting this was 14th year the company has performed "The Nutcracker" here in the Santa Clarita Valley. 

"[The company] has grown into a mature organization," Glover said.

It's a large company as well. Most parts were shared throughout the ballet's seven-show run this year to make sure all students were involved.

This year's "Nutcracker" cast combined professional ballet dancers and talent from the SCV.

Of guest performers this year, Brett Conway, coming from LINES ballet, playing the Cavalier, and SCBC alum Hannah Wilcox, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, stood out as the most exceptional of the show and were audience favorites as well.

The loudest, most enthusiastic applause of the matinee went to the Russian dancers from Alexander Kalinin and Company during the second act, when they displayed their amazing dance abilities.

Valencia High School sophomore Caprice Primo played the role of Marie, the protagonist of the story.

Most recently seen as Alice in "Alice in Wonderland" in the Santa Clarita Ballet's summer production, Primo had been dreaming of playing the role of Marie since she started dancing with the SCBC at the age of 3.

Now, a dozen years later, Primo performed with much skill and grace, and did a great job of engaging the audience.

Overall it was a very entertaining (and sometimes funny) performance with lavish sets and intricate costumes that took you away to the settings of Marie's dreams.

Peeples is a College of the Canyons student and a manager at Borders Books and Music in Valencia. He aspires to be a film/television music supervisor/producer for a major studio or production company.


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