MOSES LAKE – The Moses Lake Ballet Academy will tell the story of a little girl’s dreams of adventure on Christmas Eve on two Saturdays during the holiday season. The academy presents its production of “The Nutcracker” at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. November 27 and December 18 at the Moses Lake High School Theater, 803 E. Sharon Ave.
Lacey Schindler, co-owner of the Ballet Academy with Rian Miles, said the academy and Today’s Generation Dance Company, in Moses Lake, alternate productions from year to year. The Ballet Academy was scheduled to perform in 2020, but the COVID-19 outbreak led to its cancellation.
“It was really awesome and generous of (today’s generation) to allow us to take back our year to do that,” Schindler said. “We have been very lucky to be able to cooperate and work together, to come together and help each other when we can.”
Coming back onstage boosted morale, Schindler said.
“You practice to be on stage, and when you don’t have a stage, they (the dancers) come to the point (of asking) ‘Why are we practicing? Why are we doing this if we can’t get on this scene?” she said.
“The Nutcracker” tells the classic story of a little girl named Clara, the recipient of a special gift on Christmas Eve, a nutcracker in the form of a soldier. Clara comes back down late at night, falls asleep by the Christmas tree and dreams of a series of magical adventures with the nutcracker turned prince.
The ballet was first created in the 1890s and has become a holiday classic for dancers and audiences alike.
“Children, growing up, go through the different parts of the story. One year you might be a mouse, the next year you might be a ball of gum. And then you kind of progress through the different roles” Schindler said, “They’ve watched these older girls for so many years do their favorite parts, it’s exciting to graduate.
“When they realize, ‘This is my last ‘Nutcracker,’ this realization – it’s pretty neat to see, they realize how far they’ve come, how hard they’ve worked. They got there, and they didn’t even realize it,” she added.
It is traditional for most ballet companies to do their own choreography. Schindler said she choreographed about 80% of the Ballet Academy production. She incorporated choreography from former Ballet Academy owner Robin Weinrich for the Waltz of the Snowflakes.
“I was part of that production and loved that choreography so much,” she said.
Victoria Gilbert choreographed the gumball dance.
Each production is a little different from the last, Schindler said. She adjusts her choreography to accentuate the strengths of each dancer.
“It’s fun to watch. I may have had a Spanish dancer who can spin like a top, but my next Spanish dancer, she’s phenomenal at jumps. So how do you adjust the choreography to highlight each dancer? It’s kind of fun and challenging,” she said.
The dancers know the staging so well that they can concentrate on the details.
“I would say ‘Nutcracker’ is a finely tuned machine,” Schindler said. “They (the dancers) know their role and it’s just a matter of fine-tuning it. It’s pretty amazing to see it come to fruition.
The Ballet Academy has two different casts for the two weekends.
“You may have seen one of my students dancing like a jelly bean, but the next show will be someone different, which will give more girls the opportunity to play more roles,” he said. she declared.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.recitalticketing.com. Tickets are $12 online, plus online fees, and $15 at the door.