In VCA’s 2018 production of “The Nutcracker,” Ella Strong appeared as Clara, with Ballet 3 dancers as the rats (Dawn Stief Photo).

In VCA’s 2018 production of “The Nutcracker,” Ella Strong appeared as Clara, with Ballet 3 dancers as the rats (Dawn Stief Photo).

Arts Center Offers Two Sweet Holiday Treats

Another holiday offering is the ‘White Christmas’ show.

Vashon Center for Dance’s “Nutcracker” ballet, as performed by students of Vashon Center for Dance, has been a holiday tradition on Vashon for decades.

And now, with the arts center’s stage still shuttered, the staff at VCA have been hard at work to sprinkle a little holiday cheer to dancers and families in the only way possible: by creating a virtual “Nutcracker” medley and streaming it online at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at vashoncenterforthearts.org.

Viewers should have tissues or a handkerchief close at hand, said VCA Executive Director Halstead Reid, who said she’d seen her staffers “turning to mush and crying their eyes out” as they previewed the video.

As edited by VCA intern Emalia Hinden, the video melds more than 20 years of VCA’s “Nutcracker” production videos into a scene-by-scene pastiche of the entire ballet, featuring hundreds of young islanders who have performed the show over the years.

Crissy Baker, who is associate dance director and registrar at the arts center, had the idea to compile the video.

“It’s been such a lovely experience reliving some of these fantastic moments,” Baker said.

5th Avenue Theatre star Cayman Ilika appears in “Broadway Nation Live Presents: The Story Behind ‘White Christmas,’” to be streamed at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at vashoncenterforthearts.org (Courtesy Photo).

5th Avenue Theatre star Cayman Ilika appears in “Broadway Nation Live Presents: The Story Behind ‘White Christmas,’” to be streamed at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at vashoncenterforthearts.org (Courtesy Photo).

Some dancers will be seen repeatedly in the video, in different roles, as working their way up in the cast has been a rite of passage in the dance program at VCA.

“Somebody who starts out as a mouse ends up to be the Dew Drop Fairy someday,” said the former director of Vashon Center for Dance, and current VCA instructor Vadne White. “[It’s] a lovely experience to work with those dancers year after year after year and see their growth and help them develop into the very best performer that they can.”

There is a $10 suggested donation for the screening.

In a separate holiday offering, VCA will re-broadcast a special holiday show, “Broadway Nation Live Presents: The Story Behind ‘White Christmas,’” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at vashoncenterforthearts.org.

David Armstrong, the artistic director emeritus of The 5th Avenue Theatre, will take audiences inside the creation of the bestselling and most recorded song of all time as he tells the story of how a destitute, illiterate, Russian-Jewish immigrant named Irving Berlin became America’s Composer Laureate and invented an entirely new category of song.

Originally recorded on December 6, 2019, at the Kay White Hall, this performance features special guest Albert Evans. There are also musical performances by 5th Avenue Theatre stars, Cayman Ilika and Eric Ankrim, singing holiday hits including “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”, “White Christmas” and many more.

There is also a $10 suggested donation for the show.


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