dancers prepare for "Nutcracker"
Nerves are left backstage
when the music starts and the lights come
up. Hearts are beating fast as the dancers
take the stage. Music and dancing weave into
a spectacular pattern brought to life by
local dancers from the Academy of Ballet &
Dance Arts in Lake Jackson.
Festival Ballet’s annual showing of “The
Nutcracker” ballet has the academy and many
of its students dancing at full force. They
will perform the classic ballet on Saturday
and Sunday at the Alvin Community College
The Nutcracker story centers on Christmas. A
young girl named Clara receives a wooden
nutcracker from her uncle. Her brother,
Fritz, quickly breaks it but the uncle binds
the broken nutcracker with a handkerchief.
Clara soon falls asleep under the tree
clutching her nutcracker. She enters a dream
world of rat kings, snowflakes and the Sugar
Plum Fairy’s “Land of the Sweets.”
Dancing the part of Clara for this
performance is Brittany, 15, of Lake
Jackson. At age 13, Brittany joined the Academy
of Ballet and soon after joined Festival
Ballet company. She has performed numerous times.
She also has attended workshops with such
prestigious ballet schools as American
Ballet Theater and Orlando Ballet.
Brittany has danced roles in “Coppelia” as one
of the friends, the Chinese variation, as
well as in “Peppermint,” “Show Corps” “Waltz
of the Flowers” and previously in “The
Nutcracker.” She danced the lead role in
last season’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
“I’m thrilled to dance the role of Clara
this season,” Brittany said. “It’s a wonderful
opportunity for someone my age to dance the
Snow Pas de Deux with someone as talented as
my partner and professional guest artist
“I was able to take class with Norbert last
summer during Festival Ballet’s summer
workshop held here in Lake Jackson, so I’m
very comfortable partnering with him this
The “Nutcracker” production is challenging.
On the first day of rehearsal the dancers
are taught the choreography for the entire
production. Once they have gone through
several rehearsals, the choreographers and
artistic director go back and pick out all
the little flaws. The dancers’ hours are
long and exhausting, but the benefits
include not only the experience of the
practices but also the ultimate reward of
being on a professional stage with full
lighting, costumes and make-up in front of
Dancing is a physically demanding art that
asks the dancer to breathe life into it
through emotion, passion, determination and
love of the art form.
The performers in “The Nutcracker” leave a
part of their heart and sweat on stage and
give a piece of their soul to the audience.
For information or “Nutcracker” tickets,
call Festival Ballet at 832-830-5987 or
visit the Web site www. festivalballet.info.