“The most difficult part about playing the Chinese tea is that I have to be in sync with the other dancers in my scene,” says Catherine Klicek, 14, a student at Santa Clara High School and featured dancer in the Santa Clara Ballet’s 2014 Nutcracker. “You have to get the timing just right.”
Klicek and other young ballet dancers from the Santa Clara Ballet Company performed several highlights of The Nutcracker’s second act at the Triton Museum’s Dec. 5 Free Friday event. After the performance, children in the audience were invited to join the dancers to learn new dance moves.
Molly Barber, publicity officer of Santa Clara Ballet, hopes the scenes performed by the company’s dancers will entice new and old fans of the ballet to come see the full-length show when it plays at the Santa Clara Convention Center on the weekend of Dec. 13-14, with afternoon and evening performances.
“Seeing The Nutcracker is an extraordinary holiday tradition for children through adults,” Barber says. “It’s a very festive ballet with colorful scenery and costumes and it has a very delightful holiday storyline. It’s about a girl named Clara who’s at a Christmas party with her parents and she is given a nutcracker by her uncle, and her brother breaks it. Then the party is over. The whole rest of the ballet is a fantasy dream sequence.”
Diya Kapur, 12, a student at Stratford School, and Melody Summer Williams, 12, alternate the role of Clara.
“It’s the lead role and so you want to be perfect,” Kapur says. “I worked a lot with a partner to make sure I’m in sync with him.”
“I researched about the period of time this story took place in, and I had to get ready for the pas de deux, which is the dance with the nutcracker prince,” Williams adds.
Kayla Kane Vashelis, 16, waved long ribbons in the role of ribbon candy in the preview show. She will also play the mechanical doll in the upcoming Nutcracker performance.
“There’s a lot of character work when you have to act like a doll,” Vashelis says. “Playing the ribbon candy, you deal with a lot of turns.”
Vincent Guzman, 8, watched The Nutcracker preview show with his mother, Lyn.
“I thought it was pretty good,” Guzman says. “I especially liked the [China tea], and I liked the music.”
Visit http://santa-clara-ballet.bpt.me for information about purchasing tickets for the performances on December 13-14.