Washington Contemporary Ballet, now in its 22nd season, will present four performances of The Nutcracker at Mt. Tahoma High School, featuring members of the Washington Contemporary Ballet Company and dancers from the Washington Contemporary Ballet School. (Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, Dec. 12 at 2 pm and 7 pm; and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 6 pm).
This year’s performances feature two young dancers in leading roles: Monika Davis, 14, as Clara, and Nathan Cook, 15, as the Nutcracker Prince.
Ms. Davis is a sophomore at (school) in Tacoma and has danced roles with Washington Contemporary Ballet in Midsummer’s Eve, Firebird Paquita Suite, and more. Mr. Cook, a (year) at (school) in Tacoma, is in his 12th year with Washington Contemporary Ballet, and has also been accepted to the Pacific Northwest Ballet Summer Intensive. In addition to ballet, both dancers study jazz, tap, and modern dance.
The cast features more than 60 dancers of all ages from throughout the South Sound. Choreography is by Kay Englert, founder of Washington Contemporary Ballet, with additional choreography by Angela Audorff, Stephanie Wood, and Ken Kaiser, and costumes by Lisa Bragg.
All performances take place in the Mt. Tacoma High School Auditorium, 4634 South 74th St, with ample free parking. General admission tickets are $15 prior to November 26, and $18 up until the day of performance and at the door. Group tickets are also available. For more information, please call 253.474.4312. Tickets are available at the door and online at www.wcbdance.org.
A perennial holiday favorite, The Nutcracker was first performed at the famed Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, on December 17, 1892, with choreography by Marius Petipa and a score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. The first full length production of The Nutcracker in the United States was performed on December 29, 1944, by the San Francisco Opera Ballet.
Based on a story by ETA Hoffman, The Nutcracker tells the tale of a young girl named Clara,
who is presented with a magical nutcracker doll by her Uncle Drosslmeier at a Christmas party. As the guests depart, Clara falls asleep only to be awakened by a battle in her living room between oversized mice and toy soldiers. Her beloved nutcracker becomes a prince, and he and Clara are taken by Uncle Drosselmeier to a magical Candyland where they are entertained by Cotton Candy Angels, Spanish Dancers, a fiery Russian dancer, whirling Marzipans, and a host of others. As Clara awakens, she realizes it has all been a wonderful dream, and falls fast asleep again beneath the family Christmas tree.
Washington Contemporary Ballet has been a staple in the Tacoma arts community for more than 20 years, providing the finest dance training and performance opportunities for young talent in the South Puget Sound region. Dancers range in age from three – 22, and exemplify the school’s mission to represent and promote the best the community has to offer through the artistic development and expression of dance. Classes include creative movement, pre-ballet, classical ballet (all levels), jazz, tap, and flamenco. Registration for spring semester classes is currently open; a schedule of classes is available at www.wcbdance.org, with a special introductory rate for new students.
Washington Contemporary Ballet Company
- Alexa Bragg, soloist
- Aubrey Cearley, apprentice
- Nathan Cook, soloist
- Monika Davis, soloist
- KaSeana Dunn, corps de ballet
- Linda Hickman, soloist
- Brittany Link, principal
- Bronica Link, Tacoma, apprentice
- Libby McAvoy, principal
- Payton Price, apprentice
- Nicole Remy, soloist
- Chloe Sabo, corps de ballet
- Brenna Smelt, soloist