Week four was a difficult weekend, I had two young dancers have to pull out of the Nutcracker due to some problems at school so they could concentrate on their studies. I have always maintained that a dancers education is very important and must be a high priority, however this has left me a bit short in a couple of numbers so I have to rework or find some replacements for these parts. Never is an easy task getting this large show onstage. We will make it because the show must go on! Right! Right!
My favorite memory of performing the Nutcracker ballet with IBT is the very first year Ray choreographed it. Can you imagine being the first one to dance a part? To be the first one in a brand new costume designed to fit you? Of course, every corps member had one just like mine. But it wasn’t the same one. And all of us together, we were dancing brand new choreography in our brand new costumes. It was magnificent. Never had I felt so beautiful in my life. My part is special. I performed Clara’s friend as a Party Girl, a Snowflake, a Flower, and Spanish. And I am very protective of those parts. I strive to help the people in them because I want them to look good, doing my part. I, myself, work very hard at the new parts I’m given, because those parts had an original person to them too. They even had multiple people before me. My mother role that I have now was even played by a dancer who danced with Ray at Ballet West. Nobody can tell me that isn’t intimidating.
The best part about dancing with IBT is I’m lucky enough to not get 1 part, but more than one. And some schools, you get one, and you even share that part with another person. But I will never complain if it gets cut down because we have more people. Why shouldn’t other people get the opportunity to dance with us? Can you imagine watching a little girl take your spot that you had originally, and dancing it the best she can? I remember the joy I had when I performed Spanish and I love seeing other people get the opportunity to do it. Written by Tessa Parkinson
Third week of Nutcracker rehearsals, took back seat to a show by the Choreographer Carrie Lee Miles “Gatherings” which took place Saturday night at the Peery’s Egyptian Theater. However, we did do a bit with our Angels and I might say they are retaining and remembering rather well. I worked with Tessa Parkinson on her new role as Snow Queen. I have had Tessa as part of the company since 2003 which was the first year we IBT. She is a very conscientious dancer and thinks about everything, it is finally her turn to shine in this new role.
Imagine Ballet Theatre is now into it’s second week of Nutcracker ballet rehearsal and already the magic has begun. I would guess I might be considered the seasoned professional around here, as this will be the 42nd year I have been involved with Nutcracker. First I danced as a child with Ballet West and then I danced with the company for 17 years, moving from the corps to Principal dancer, and later as a guest artist for Clytie Adams School of Ballet (Utah), Ballet Etudes (Phoenix), West Virginia Ballet, Ballet Pacifica (California), Dance West Ballet (Chicago), Grandiva Ballet (Japan), Tyler Texas Ballet. Eight years ago I created my own Nutcracker ballet for IBT in Ogden, Utah.
It’s hard to believe we are two weeks into Nutcracker rehearsals! This past Saturday we had our second angel rehearsal. These are some of our youngest and newest dancers. In this number, at the opening of Act II, the dancers hold candles. During rehearsal we have the dancers practice by holding a water bottle to get used to the weight. A couple of dancers were holding magic wands. Suddenly, one of the youngest dancers — I believe she is 4 — tapped me with her wand and informed me that I was now a frog. So I obliged her and got down on all fours and started jumping. I asked for a kiss on the cheek so I could become a prince and she said no. Finally, after a lot of laughter she tapped me and made me a prince. Back to rehearsal we went.