Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s Nutcracker


Photo by Tessa Guthrie

The cast of ASFB’s Nutcracker after an evening performance.

The Nutcracker is one of the most famous classic ballets, having been in production in various forms since 1892. The story includes action, romance, and most importantly beautiful dancing and scenery. The magical story centers around a young girl, named Clara, and her family’s Christmas Eve celebration. She is given a nutcracker as a gift. At midnight a huge battle breaks out between the nutcracker and the Mouse King. The Nutcracker kills the Mouse King and then turns into a human prince. In the second act, he takes Clara through a magical snow forest and to the land of sweets. The snow prince and princess, the sugar plum fairy and the sweets present graceful dances.
In ASFB’s Nutcracker, the second act includes professional dancers including silk aerial artist, a Chinese folk dancer, a flamenco dancer, Russian folk dancers, a jack in the box and flowers. The youngest children in the show, ages 5-7, play bees and that dance around the flowers. Melanie Doskocil, director of thee ASFB ballet school said that the show is a lot more work than just shown on stage.
“The professional dancers spend three weeks, eight hours a day rehearsing for their roles. The students have anywhere from three to 10 90-minute rehearsals, depending on the demands of their part, plus class time to learn their roles” Doskocil said.
One of the most incredible parts of ASFB’s Nutcracker was the silk aerial dance where a dancer brings out trapeze silks and does incredible tricks including climbing all the way to the top and dropping down gracefully right before hitting the stage. Another  part was the Jack-in-the-boxes dance. He seamlessly performed flawless jumps and somersaults Another unique part of the performance was all the students in ballet school, from age five and older are welcome to participate. AHS freshman Maya Abraham said that it is the best feeling when finished with the Nutcracker and all hard work is paid off.
“The biggest rewards are having people talk about how much they liked the show and giving them a magical experience,” Abraham said.

Doskocil also added that she loves when the performances are in action and watches her students dances finally pay off.

“There are so many rewarding aspects of the process. I love the rehearsals and getting to see the students grow and evolve in a part,” Doskocil said. “It’s all wonderful.”