Lake Arrowhead Ballet presents The Nutcracker

Nov 21, 2019 | Lake Arrowhead, Recreation & Entertainment

Staff Writer

During the weekend of December 6 through 8, the Lake Arrowhead Classical Ballet Company will present the legendary Nutcracker ballet, just in time to kick off the holiday season. This will be the 28th annual presentation of this classic ballet at the Rim Performing Arts Center at Rim High School on Highway 18.

The cast of 100 has been in full rehearsals since September, after June auditions, but plans began last March for this year’s shows. Performing the central role of Clara will be Chelsea Quevedo. Clara is a young girl who is given a handmade nutcracker as a Christmas gift from the mysterious Herr Drosselmeyer during her family’s holiday party. Chelsea, a junior at Rim High, has been dancing for 10 years and has performed in nine previous Nutcracker productions.

Mattheson Bear is returning to dance the role of Fritz, the annoying little brother of Clara who breaks her new nutcracker gift on Christmas Eve, initiating the whole magical story.

This year’s guest dancers include international dancer Momoko Burbine from Japan, performing the role of the Sugarplum Fairy, and internationally known ballet artist Darren McIntyre, from the Australian Ballet, who is returning in the role of the Cavalier. Michael Tomlin III is again dancing the Pas de Deux and roles of the Nutcracker and Arabian. Raymond Genato is returning as the magical Herr Drosselmeyer. Marge Cox is again the Story Teller.

Director Sharon McCormick told The Alpine Mountaineer, “There are several newly choreographed dance numbers this year. I like to design the dances to fit the strengths of the dancers, since the lead dancers practice all summer long. Really cute this year, the dancing mice are all younger girls.” The ballet company rents professional, hand-painted backdrops to add depth and to set the scenes for the dancers.

“This year’s show should delight the senses with the well-known musical score by Tchaikovsky, with beautiful custom costumes and fantastic dancing by our local mountain dancers,” added McCormick.

The dancers range in age from about 5 to adult. Several of the dancers perform in more than one dance. Returning this year as Clara’s parents, Herr and Frau Stahlbaum, are Tyler and Dawn Trippany. “The Nutcracker recreates such a lovely era of time and attending this show about Christmas is the best way to begin the holiday season,” McCormick said.

The ballet company schedules and hires the guest dancers even before the auditions are held in June for the local dancers, because excellent quality professional dancers, who know the roles, are in high demand this time of year. “I like to get professionals who can share their dance experience and knowledge with our dancers and be good role models for them,” McCormick noted.

She added that “the shows for the school students on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings will be especially exciting this year, as all three shows are sold out. That means over 1,000 students from our schools will get the opportunity to experience the ballet with the full score, costumes and lights; with an educational introduction in advance of the performance and Q&A afterwards to expand the experience. Extensive lesson plans are provided to each teacher, so the cultural elements of the field trip are reinforced.

Students from VOE, LAE, CHE, MPH, the Co-op Pre-school, the Twin Peaks Christian School, home school students and seniors from the Mountains Community Hospital will attend these special performances. They are one part of our educational outreach to the community,” McCormick said.

The Nutcracker will be performed only three times for the public at the Rim Performing Arts Center; Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.; and on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. All seats are reserved at $25 each in advance at or at the door, if seats remain. With one fewer performance this year, seats are limited.



rim bowling center generic 7 11 22 web
audio in english
audio en español
Come share the flavors of the world

Come share the flavors of the world

At Sue and Mike Miller’s home on the 2019 Kitchen Tour, chef Gloria Wolen prepared ratatouille and chocolate mousse, which she declared was “to die for.”   The Lake Arrowhead Kitchen and International Tasting Tour will return this fall after a COVID-induced...