“Nutcracker” captures magic of season

Local News

The New York State Ballet will bring The Nutcracker to the stage at the Kodak Center this weekend, December 14-16.

Artistic Director Katie Johnson and dancers Kayleigh Danowski and Abby Powell discussed the popular holiday tradition Monday during News 8 at Noon.

“We are so excited for our holiday and our Christmas spirit at The Nutcracker this year,” said Johnson. “My Ballet Master Robert Royce, and our graduate director Alexandra Brydsten, and myself, we’ve re-choreographed a lot of the scenes this year to bring a fresh new take to The Nutcracker. It’s very elegant, and it’s very beautiful, and it’s a wonderful Christmas show, so there’s a lot of new things and changes this season.”

Powell will be featured as Clara during the performances. “She’s just a very curious and magical character that I’m so excited to play because it’s such a special part of The Nutcracker that brings it all to life,” she said. “She tells basically the whole story because she dreams up all of the second act, which is the most magical part of the ballet.”

Danowski returns as the Sugar Plum Fairy. “I love this role,” she said. “You know the Sugar Plum Fairy is a role that all the little girls look up to – the girls that are dancing with us in rehearsal, or everybody who comes to the show. When I was little I always wanted to be the Sugar Plum. So this is my fourth year doing this role, my third year with the New York State Ballet, and every year I get to expand on it, feel a little more confident and strong, to explore her character.”

A live orchestra will accompany the ballet dancers. “We have a wonderful orchestra under the leadership of Jared Chase, he is our conductor,” noted Johnson. “He’s from Nazareth, alongside the Lyric Voices, so they’ll be our live choir this season. We’ve expanded our orchestra and musicians so we’re really excited to have this collaboration with so many children, professional dancers, and live musicians. It’s going to be wonderful!”

Performances are as follows:

Friday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 15 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 16 at 2:00 p.m.

For your ticket to The Nutcracker call 1(800) 838-3006 or visit NewYorkStateBallet.org.

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