A Rochester holiday tradition continues as Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is brought to Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and performed by the Rochester City Ballet and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra November 21-25.
Rochester City Ballet Artistic Director David Palmer discussed the effort behind the annual event Monday during News 8 at Noon.
“It’s been a lot of fun to put it together,” he said. “It takes months to put it together. We started working on this back in September, right? We certainly had a few little, fun surprises. There are a few cameos; never a dull moment. It takes a city to put on a ‘Nutcracker,’ as it takes a village to bring up a child, you know?”
The role of Clara will be shared by two talented dancers this year, Jocelyn Wynn and Clara Thiele.
“This is a great opportunity,” said Wynn. “It’s definitely been one of my dream roles, since I was four or five. Being able to watch Clara is just awesome, and to be able to perform the role.”
Thiele said, “I’m just really excited to be able to perform on the stage alongside everybody who I’ve been working with along this process. We’ve been working on this production for so many weeks, and months even.”
There will be a new ‘Party Scene’ this year. “I was ‘Fritz’ the past two years, so I was always used to performing the exact same movements,” noted Thiele. “This year, when I was Clara, I found out David was changing the whole scene. It was just kind of funny and little different for me, but it made it more exciting.”
Wynn added, “It’s definitely great to perform a new Party Scene, and I’m very excited too. I’ve also been a party child, so I’m used to performing the same movements.”
For Palmer, seeing the young dancers join the professional company, and the overall collaborative nature of the performance speaks to what makes it truly inspirational. “Part of what is so special about ‘The Nutcracker’ is that it’s a tool. It’s about the community. This year we also have the Boys and Girls Club involved, Ballet Afrikana, and many, many other locals schools. It’s really an opportunity for growth. The young student dancers get to work with the professional company dancers. And working with the RPO and Michael Butterman; what he brings out of the score of Tchaikovsky is just spectacular.”
To see the full interview with Palmer and the dancers, click the link below.
Performances are as follows:
Wednesday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, November 23 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 24 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 25 at 2:00 p.m.
For tickets and more information, visit RochesterCityBallet.org and RPO.org.