Sidney Dance Company, celebrating its 40th anniversary season, will present the holiday ballet staple “The Nutcracker” Dec. 3-13 at the Historic Sidney Theatre, 120 W. Poplar St.
Under the artistic direction of Molly McFarland and featuring Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous music, the ballet brings to life the exciting adventures of young Clara, who receives the iconic nutcracker toy on Christmas Eve. Along the way, an assortment of whimsical characters from the evil Mouse Queen to the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy fuel the story’s timeless enchantment, including a visit to the Land of the Sweets with Clara accompanied by a handsome prince.
The production will feature seniors Ella Gover, Grace Hockaday, Savanah Koester, McKensie Osborne, and Lizzy Shaw, and juniors Faith Clinton, Mallory Godwin, Anthony Kellner, Katie Kogge, Cheyenne Maher, and Mariana Reese.
“The Sidney Dance Company is honored to have this unique opportunity to continue its work for the youth and members of the community by bringing family-friendly, live entertainment to the community during this time of uncertainty,” said company organizers in a press statement. “For the health and safety of everyone involved, seating will be limited and COVID protocols will be followed.”
“The members of the Sidney Dance Company live to perform,” echoed McFarland. “They are contractually committed to being part of the company beginning the summer prior to the start of the dance season (occurring September through May), and they audition annually in May for the following season. They (also) train three days a week in four to six different dance styles and spend their weekends rehearsing for upcoming productions.”
McFarland particularly continues to be inspired and impressed with the hard work and dedication shown by the troupe especially during the pandemic.
“The level of commitment to creating and performing high quality, live, dance entertainment the students of Sidney Dance Company exhibit is rare and not to be taken lightly,” she said. “Even during a global pandemic, you find these dancers making use of their own bedrooms, barns, decks, garages, and anywhere they could find space to continue learning and dancing even when they couldn’t be physically together. When classes and rehearsals started (again) in September they were all there, masks on, ready to tackle learning a ballet in the midst of what we can all agree is a highly unconventional season.
“The surprising and yet not so surprising element is that the dancers genuinely want to be doing this.” she said. “They show up, ready to work, ready to forge ahead even when obstacle after obstacle is put in their path. They continue to show up knowing that the possibility they may not get to perform still exists. They dance their hearts out knowing no one but their dance teacher may get to witness their hard work live. (But) they live to perform and love it. It gives them the opportunity to work toward something in a time when so much has been taken from them. The support of the community gives these students hope that the future isn’t quite so bleak, and we can always find new and creative ways to celebrate these important moments, the holidays, and each other. Their resilience and commitment to Sidney Dance Company is nothing short of inspirational and deserves its own recognition beyond the applause of a live audience.”
“The Nutcracker” will be performed Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 5, 6 and 13 at 2 p.m. The Dec. 4 performance is sold out. All seating is reserved for each show. You can only purchase 12 tickets or less per performance. Seating is arranged in groupings of four and are spaced out.
Advance purchase tickets are $13 for general admission and $9 for students and seniors. Tickets at the door are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, visit sidneytheatre.org. For additional information, visit sidneydancecompany.org.
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