This is a guest post provided by Festival Ballet in partnership with The Mod Mommy. Thank you to Kirsten Evans for writing such a thoughtful piece on such a wonderful, timeless show!
The excitement of that first snowfall, the comfort of more time spent with family, the precious sense of awe at a world decked halls and glowing twinkling lights; The holiday season certainly brings out the child in all of us. For some children, the holiday season also brings a rather unique experience, with visions of sugarplums dancing not only in their heads, but before their very eyes.
Each year, hundreds of young dancers step into the Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) studios on the East Side of Providence to audition for their chance to perform in the Company’s beloved holiday spectacle: The Nutcracker.
The show, which takes place at the famously opulent Providence Performing Arts Center December 13-15, features the resident dancers of Rhode Island’s only professional ballet company along with a cast of over 100 children dancing in a glittering display of classical dance wrapped in holiday magic.
This September, of the 125 students who auditioned for roles in The Nutcracker, 113 aspiring young dancers were selected. Following the audition, the discipline and dedication of these young dancers is displayed week after week for 3 months leading up to the show, as the children’s cast of The Nutcracker rehearses every Sunday for at least an hour per role. Since some lucky dancers are awarded several different roles to perform throughout the show, this means they spend multiple hours per week to rehearsing the choreography, learning the music, and working on their acting skills to prepare for the stage. This rigorous schedule gives young dancers a taste of what many of them have been dreaming of: life as a professional ballet dancer.
Working closely with the professional dancers of FBP, the young dancers of The Nutcracker glean valuable insight from the company dancers. They learn to manage their time well, take care of their tired bodies, and manage nerves while performing in front of crowds of over 3000 people. It’s also a chance to learn the art of stage makeup, costuming, and first-hand experience with stage management from behind the curtain.
And for children on the other side of the stage, attending a performance of The Nutcracker can open their eyes to a world of expression. Dance is a universal form of communication, one that sparks imagination and initiates a reflective dialogue in children of all ages. With its iconic score by Tchaikovsky and the vibrant sets and costumes, The Nutcracker transports audiences to a magical holiday world, creating a spectacular escape for families looking to connect with the spirit of the season and spend some quality time sharing a memorable experience together.
There are six shows in total, including two “Discover Dance” performances during school hours, which schools and other community groups may attend for a discounted rate, and for the public, two matinees, and two evening performances (December 13-15) at the magical Providence Performing Arts Center. For tickets, visit https://www.ppacri.org/events/detail/festival-ballet-providence-presents-the-nutcracker-1 or call (401) 421-ARTS.