CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. - Tahoe Dance School, under the direction of Dee Dee Terzian, will present its annual holiday performance at the Cal Neva. This marks the school's third presentation of the beloved holiday classic, featuring more than one hundred fifty local dancers and performers from throughout North Lake Tahoe.
The original production of "The Nutcracker" premiered by the Russian Imperial Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in 1892, to the now-well-known Tchaikovsky score, choreographed by Marius Petipa, with the libretto adapted by the E.T.A. Hoffman story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King."
Originally a flop, the ballet's success in America is largely credited to George Balanchine, who danced the role of the Nutcracker Prince at the Mariinsky as a child in 1919. In 1954, he created a version he created for his New York City Ballet in 1954 that was filmed and presented in movie theaters in 1993.
In Tahoe, the tradition of Nutcracker has become a family affair. For all three performances, Jim Baldwin has appeared as Uncle Drosselmeyer, and will again reprise his role. This year, his son Phillip joins him on stage as the Drosselmeyer's nephew, who transforms in to the Nutcracker prince. Cecil and Pat McGehee also return to their roles as the Grandparents for a third run, joining their three granddaughters in the production.
One of those granddaughters is Sierra Walsh, a graduating senior, along with Camille Joubert, Zoe Thompson, Brittany Holmes and Brie Dubuc, all of whom began studying with Terzian as young children.
In the last years they continued their training with Christin Hanna, who teaches the advanced levels for Tahoe Dance School, and has choreographed and directed much of Act Two, "Land of The Sweets," for this upcoming production.
Walsh and Joubert will alternate performances as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop, while Thompson will appear as the Snow Queen, Holmes as Chinese Tea, and Dubuc as Ribbon Candy.
"This production features five graduating students who joined Tahoe Dance School during pre-school and continued ballet training through their senior year - four of the girls included jazz and tap in their dance education," explained Terzian. "It gives me a great sense of pride and satisfaction to watch them grow from 'Baby Ballerinas' to confident, poised young ladies who go out into the world taking with them the many life lessons dancers learn from hours in the studio; one has even chosen to pursue a career in dance."
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