OA: Two ways to see ‘The Nutcracker’

Actress plays in the Nutcracker by the Western Slope Chamber Music Series, the Institute of the Dancing Arts.

Sarah Thompson, a senior dance major at MSC leads the other Candy Canes at a rehearsal at MSC for the Nitcracker

There’s not one, but two major productions of the fairy tale ballet “The Nutcracker” ballet in Grand Junction this year.
This offers two ways to see sugar plum fairies, magically growing Christmas trees and rats that dance better than most humans.

“The Nutcracker”

• Participating organizations: Western Slope Chamber Music Series, the Institute of the Dancing Arts.

Number of musicians: 40.

Number of dancers: 75.

Style: Traditional with a kid-friendly emphasis.

Choreography: Diane Revie, Institute of the Dancing Arts’ artistic director.

Special performers: University of Colorado and Denver University music doctorate and masters candidate students. Guest dancers Alex Speedie from North Carolina and Alisha Clubb from Nebraska.

Lead dancers: Rachel Worth, Jaime Bourget, Leroy Donegan, Rosemarie Mientka and Alex Speedie.

Length: Less than two hours.

Preparation: 10 years. That’s how long Revie said she’s been building up her dance studio and dancers to the quality she said she thinks “The Nutcracker” deserves. Conductor Tyme Mientka attended dance rehearsals with a metronome and memorized the dancers’ speeds long before the orchestra began rehearsals.

Costumes: Nearly 150 detailed costumes — tiny yellow lollipop leotards to the fantastic hand–stitched beading and sequins on tutus — made by Revie and dance studio volunteers.

Favorite scene: The Grand Pas de Deux, said Howard Revie, Institute of the Dance Arts’ executive director. “It almost makes you cry.”

Performances: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, at Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St., and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, (sold out) at the Montrose Pavilion.

Tickets: For the Grand Junction performances: $20 in advance for adults, $22 at the door; $15
in advance for children 12 and under and $17 at the door. Tickets can be bought in advance at Roper Music in Grand Junction, Over the Edge Sports in Fruita, Finishing Touch in Delta,
Hardin’s Natural Foods in Hotchkiss and Paonia Farm and Home or online at http://www.dancing-arts.com. The Montrose performance is sold out.

More information: http://www.dancing-arts.com or call 256-0775.

“The Nutcracker”

• Participating organizations: The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, Mesa State College dance department, Grand Junction High School students and dancers from Absolute Dance, DanceWorks, Academy of Dance and the Institute of Dancing Arts.

Number of musicians: 45.

Number of dancers: 60.

Choreography: Mostly by Mesa State dance faculty Melonie A. Buchanan Murray and Matthew Lindstrom.

Style: Traditional. A special abbreviated performance for children is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.

Special performers: Robert Fairchild was promoted to a soloist with the New York City Ballet in 2007 after joining the prestigious dance company in 2005. Tiler Peck has been with the New York City Ballet since 2004. She studied with the School of American Ballet.

Lead dancers: Delaney Drake, Julia Williams, Abbi Phillips and Chris Klaich.

Length: Two hours.

Preparation: Dance rehearsals and Mesa State dance tryouts began in September. The Symphony has played Tchaikovsky classics for years and most of the seasoned musicians have performed the music of “The Nutcracker” many times.

Costumes: More than 100 costumes with a hefty price tag of $8,000. Some will be borrowed, some were made at the Sewing Room in Grand Junction, and some were made by a seamstress in Colorado Springs.

Favorite scene: The snow scene at the end of Act One, said Buchanan Murray, artistic director. It sparkles and she loves the music.

Performances: 11 a.m. (abbreviated performance for children) and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13; 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, in Grand Junction High School’s auditorium, 1400 N. Fifth St.

Tickets: $27, $23 and $18. Tickets to the children’s production cost $5 for children and $15 for adults.

More information and to purchase tickets: http://www.gjsymphony.org or call 243-6787.


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