|Cast, crew get ready for the "Nutcracker"|
|Thursday, 09 September 2010 09:35|
The Turks and Caicos Friends of the Arts Foundation’s Nutcracker Camp may have ended Aug. 14, but that will not end the ongoing rehearsals to get budding dancers prepared for the Dec. 2-5 production of The Nutcracker at Brayton Hall.
Local dancers will continue to have rehearsals once a week with Vaganova-trained dance instructors Natasha Leybush and Barbara Pankhurst.
Natasha, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, who runs the Rock It Hot Fitness Studio in Grace Bay, has agreed to revive her dance career by performing the Russian Peppermint solo variation from Act II — Land of the Sweets. Not only is she honing her technique with the very challenging choreography of this variation, but she is also training the enthusiastic students of the Youth Centre to accompany her in a Russian folk dance.
Ten thrilled students have signed up for this role — Ruth Jean-Louis (16), Brusnite Jean-Louis (14), Christma Jean-Louis (12), Cathiana Nicols (13), Loricka Jean (14), Wisland Toussaint (14), Erline Raphael (16), Stephanie Michel (14), Jenny Joseph (14), and Sabeen Louis (14). They will be taking class each week with Natasha at the Youth Centre.
Barbara will be rehearsing the young Pollichinelles, aged 4-7, as well as the Toy Soldiers, Mice and Angels once a week, come the school year. Natasha will work with the local soloists dancing Chinese Tea — Ryesha Higgs (12) and Phoebe Twigg (12), as well as the corps dancers in Spanish Chocolate and Marzipan — Marlyn Moya Rojas (12) and Gabriella Aquino (12), Achsah Wildish (12) and Mercedes Sharp (13).
Two surprising newcomers to dance — Patrick Musgrove and Reginald Parker — are playing Arabian sentinels opposite Susan Cade’s Arabian Coffee solo. Susan, artistic director of Pages to Pirouettes, has choreographed and staged the entire production, leaving videos and written notes on all the choreography.
But the most remarkable phenomenon is that the students who worked with Susan during the summer — most notably, Marlyn Moya Rojas, Achsah Wildish, Mercedes Sharp, Gabriella Aquino and Ryesha Higgs — managed to learn all the roles from Susan and Laura McGinty, and have been indispensable in helping teach it to those just returning!
These dancers will also perform the Party March in the Act I Party scene with Laura playing Marie Stahlbaum and Marlyn Moya Rojas playing her high spirited brother, Fritz.
Carole Klinko, accomplished costumer and manager of Turtle Cove Marina, is building The Nutcracker costumes, a dream that she had hopes to someday fulfill. That dream is now a reality with the support of Barbara from TCFAF Barbara Pankhurst and Pages to Pirouettes’ Susan Cade.
Carol was the costume designer and builder for all three Pantos — Cinderella, Pirates and Mermaid. So in preparation for the costume building, the dancers are being meticulously measured this month, so that those costumes will all fit perfectly.
The TCI dancers will be practicing all fall in Providenciales to learn their roles; the Pages to Pirouettes soloists will be rehearsing in Philadelphia. George de la Pena, former artistic director of The Joffrey School in NYC and current head of the Dance Department at the University of Iowa, will rehearse his role as Herr Drosselmeyer along with two of his best students as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. And come late November, all parties will assemble on the stage of Brayton Hall to bring us a magnificent and enchanting Christmas Nutcracker.
What TCFAF production could ever truly succeed without the help of our most talented set designer, set builders and painters, technical stage, lighting and sound wizards all working behind the scenes! We look forward to the most fantastic sets, lighting and sound from our Panto veterans David Klinko, Bill Sewell, Mike St. Louis, Sam Hannah, Mark Pankhurst, Alex Skye, Doug Wood, Eden Wood, Steve Flowers, Niki Flowers and Pages to Pirouettes’ Scott Cannon.
New this year, TCFAF will offer a Nutcracker Christmas Boutique with all kinds of Christmas ornaments, Nutcrackers, dolls, books, tutus and other Nutcracker paraphernalia. Heading up the boutique is Melinda Volkert of Provo Turtle Divers.
Look forward to a publicity blitz in October to kick off the ticket sales and boutique.
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