Studio K presents 'The Nutcracker'

By Jeff Eason (eason@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Dec. 12 | Modified: Dec. 16
Studio K presents 'The Nutcracker'

Pictured are (back row, from left) Matt Backe, Wendy Curtis Broderick, Olivia Watson, Mackenna Berry, Brittany Burwell, Amelia Powers, Caroline Lovins, Anna Jenson, Simon Greaves, (middle row, from left) Shannon Hatley, Evan Redmond, Sarah Pinnix, Victoria Redmon, Abby Foster, Gabrielle Barlow, Brianne Thurman, (front row, from left) Alana Patterson, Ashley Harkins and Ivy Ulmer.
Photos by Jeff Eason



Many of the roles in the Studio K production of the “The Nutcracker” have been filled by the same person year after year.

Matt Backe returns to the stage as the Nutcracker Prince, Andy Harkins once again appears as the mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer, and Shellie Karaus will reprise her role as Mother Ginger.

One role, however, is rarely filled two years in a row by the same dancer.

The pivotal role of Clara Von Stahlbaum, the young woman whose dreams form the backdrop of the Land of Sweets, is undertaken by a different Studio K dancer each year.

This year, Victoria Redmon will play Clara.

“Having the role of Clara is a dream come true,” Redmon said. “I’ve grown up dancing in the Nutcracker for 14 years now, and to finally be Clara feels absolutely amazing. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for better teachers at the studio; they really deserve all the credit. It’s been such a fantastic process full of hard work and amazing people, and I wouldn’t change a second of it.”

Studio K Youth Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” now in its 15th year, will make its Schaefer Center debut in Boone this weekend. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

“The Nutcracker” ballet was written by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and was based on the book, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” by E.T.A. Hoffman. A holiday favorite, it tells the tale of the Von Stahlbaum household on the evening of a grand Christmas party. Not long after Dr. Drosselmeyer presents Clara with a colorful nutcracker statue, she falls asleep. As she dreams, she travels through the Land of Sweets, fights off human-sized rats, meets the beautiful Snow Queen and has other adventures.

The original Tchaikovsky production of “The Nutcracker” had its debut at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Dec. 18, 1982. Although the ballet did not achieve immense popularity when it was first introduced, a 20-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet became a popular piece for orchestral performances.

In the 1940s, Walt Disney used several musical passages from the original “Nutcracker” score for his animated feature, “Fantasia,” igniting renewed interest in the music.

Since the 1960s, “The Nutcracker” has become one of the most popular of all ballet performances in the United States and an annual holiday tradition for many families.

The Studio K Youth Ballet production of “The Nutcracker” features 300 local dancers of all ages, dozens of costume changes and colorful backdrops. Cay Harkins is the director of the production.



Tickets & Times

“The Nutcracker” will make its Schaefer Center debut this weekend in Boone, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Tickets are $11 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts is located at 733 Rivers St. on the Appalachian State University campus.

Additional Images

Pictured are (back row, from left) Matt Backe, Wendy Curtis Broderick, Olivia Watson, Mackenna Berry, Brittany Burwell, Amelia Powers, Caroline Lovins, Anna Jenson, Simon Greaves, (middle row, from left) Shannon Hatley, Evan Redmond, Sarah Pinnix, Victoria Redmon, Abby Foster, Gabrielle Barlow, Brianne Thurman, (front row, from left) Alana Patterson, Ashley Harkins and Ivy Ulmer.
Photos by Jeff Eason

Dancers rehearse for Studio K’s upcoming performance of ‘The Nutcracker.’ The show features 300 local dancers of all ages, dozens of costume changes and colorful backdrops.

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