Arts and Entertainment

A community Nutcracker comes to life

Some of the youngest dancers in Vashon Junior Civic Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet show off new dolls and nutcrackers purchased for this year’s production. Dancers are, from left to right, Alia Royball, Karissa Jones, Natalia Shigley, KieraAnne Aldrich and Brianna Aldrich. - Courtesy photo
Some of the youngest dancers in Vashon Junior Civic Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet show off new dolls and nutcrackers purchased for this year’s production. Dancers are, from left to right, Alia Royball, Karissa Jones, Natalia Shigley, KieraAnne Aldrich and Brianna Aldrich.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Since September, a small army of Vashon dancers have been meeting each Saturday at the Ober Park building to rehearse an annual tradition — Vashon Junior Civic Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker Ballet.

Now, all the dancing fairies, sugar plums, mice and angels are ready for the big moment when the lights go up on this Vashon Park District program, now in its 17th year.

The program is open to all Vashon dancers and is free except for a small costume fee for each performer.

More than 45 dancers, ages 3 to 30, will dance in this year’s production, with a rotating cast giving more dancers a chance to take the stage in starring roles.

The role of Clara will be danced by Talia Royball, Lily Syfers, Victoria Trujillo, Jane Oswald and Rosemary Hoogen. Mother will be Lissy Nichols, Stacey Williams, Carrie Chunn and Kimmy Gallo.

The Snow Queen will be portrayed by Annelise Bogue, Alexis Carleton, Kaitlyn Davies, Lissy Nichols and Kimmy Gallo. The Christmas Tree Angel, a new principal role this year, will be danced by Carrie Chunn, Caitlin Willing, Eliza Holmes, Kaydi Rosser, Sofie Uhlending, Meredith Wade and Aileen Fitzgerald. Rose Queens will be Eliza Holmes, Caitlin Willing, Kaydi Rosser, Sofie Uhlending, Meredith Wade and Aileen Fitzgerald.

The Prince escorts will be Jarrod Swenson, Erik Hansen and Keanu Roush. The Sugar Plum Fairy will be Annelise Bogue, Alexis Carleton, Lissy Nichols and Kimmy Gallo.

A different set of mice and “bon-bons” — the youngest dancers in the company — will appear in each show.

This year’s cast boasts seven graduating seniors, some of whom have danced in Junior Civic Ballet’s Nutcracker 11 times.

On Dec. 4, a group of the older dancers were invited to perform several dances from the Nutcracker at the Mary Bridge Festival of Trees held at the new Tacoma Convention Center. The festival, a four-day fundraiser for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, featured only two other ballet performances, and one of those was the Tacoma City Ballet.

Betsy Frazee is the longtime director of Junior Civic Ballet. Kimmy Gallo, a graduate of the program who returned to Vashon after studying dance in New York, is associate director and ballet mistress.

See the show

The Nutcracker Ballet will be presented six times over the course of the next two weekends. Evening show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 12, 13, 19, and 20. Matinees are scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 20.

Tickets are available at Ober Park or at the door, and cost $8 general, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children ages 5-12. Children under 5 are admitted free.

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