Guest Blog: Victoria Rinaldi on The Nutcracker

Whether you are dressed in a party dress, as a mouse, or an angel, the excitement
of standing in the wings, listening for your cue as the beautiful Tchaikovsky score from Nutcracker plays is an experience that will never leave you. For many, myself included, the Christmas season simply cannot begin until I Vic Pic3hear that music in a rehearsal studio.

My first exposure to the Nutcracker began at eight, as a young ballet student, when I was taken to the National Ballet in Washington DC to audition for one of the children’s roles. Through my career I worked my way up from soldier, to snowflake, to flower soloist and finally Sugar Plum Fairy, appearing in productions large and small all over the country. I have seen firsthand the magic this beloved classic casts on all involved. So, it is with great pleasure and excitement I endeavor to recreate this experience for our community on December 12th and 13th at the Orpheum Theater in Tannersville with the help of the Catskill Mountain Foundation and The Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York.

The Nutcracker is full of wonderful dances and performing opportunities. The 1st act snow scene and the major dancing roles in the 2nd act will be performed by exquisite dancers from Kozlova’s Dance Conservatory Performance Project and will be based on the Bolshoi Ballet version that Valentina danced before her defection to the United States. World famous choreographer, Margo Sappington will play the role of Auntie Drosselmeyer. The starring roles of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince will be filled by accomplished local dance students.

But we are on the hunt for boys, girls, men and women for Fritz, (Clara’s younger brother) Clara’s friends, party parents, mice, soldiers, angels and Mother Ginger’s children to complete the cast. If you have some dance experience GREAT. If you don’t THAT’S GREAT TOO! The cast should expect to rehearse at least one a week, be able to follow music and direction and be ready to HAVE FUN. If performing is not your thing… don’t worry, you can still be a part of the show. We need volunteers to help with angel wings and mice tails!

Auditions for the Nutcracker will be at the Red Barn in Hunter, NY on Oct. 3. And don’t let the word audition scare you off, it’s not a big deal! So, see you there!

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