By: Quinn Bryant
After an entire school year spent virtually due to the continuing pandemic, many of BSA’s traditions were put on hold or canceled entirely. One of them was the annual Nutcracker ballet. The school is very excited about the return of the production, and so are many citizens of the Baltimore community. “I don’t know how many calls my office has already fielded from people who want tickets,” said Dance Department Head Laura Halm Hamilton.
The dancers and stage design and production students involved in the ballet are excited for the return as well. “It is exciting. I am excited to be on stage again.,” says Junior Dancer Kyleigh Johnson. And for Senior Dancer Keon Wagstaff, he is relieved he can perform “The Nutcracker” one last time.
“I was so bummed that we didn’t do it last year, and I was hoping we were going to do it this year because it is my last year here, so I was so happy when they announced that they were going to do the production this year.”
Because this production is done annually, the dancers get the opportunity to see themselves evolve. Cassidy Reigel, a Junior Dancer, said “You can grow doing the same Nutcracker for four years. It’s interesting, I am in snow this year, and I was in snow freshman year, and it’s interesting to look back and see what I did in snow freshman year to what I’m doing now. It’s beneficial to me to explore different styles in the same role.”
However, playing multiple roles is not as easy as it may look. When asked if it was difficult to play multiple roles, Wagstaff responded “Yes! Oh my gosh, it is so difficult. Since I have three roles, that’s triple the amount of rehearsals I need to do.” Similarly to many dancers at BSA, Nutcracker rehearsal is not the only studio rehearsal they attend in a week.
Stage Design and Production seniors Tracey Molina and Silvana Gerardo, have enjoyed their return to this production. As said by Molina, “It’s been really cool to come back. It’s like going back from where I started from sophomore year, being back in this room brings back all the memories of the things I’ve worked on.”
Because of this new production of “The Nutcracker,” the costume designers get to put their stamp on the long line of BSA Nutcracker fashion. “Making new costumes is a cool opportunity. When I come back as an alum, and I see someone wearing the costume I made I get to say, I remember that! I made that during my senior year. It gives a sense of nostalgia,” said Molina.
But the return to school, of course, is not without its stressful moments. As Gerardo expressed, “It’s great to be back. However, it has been a little overwhelming. In addition to coming back and not being here for a year and a half, this is a new Nutcracker so all the costumes need to be redesigned.”
“The Nutcracker” is a long-lasting tradition at BSA and one that many students connect with. The return of this production has a lot of anticipation and is always created through the hard work of the dancers and stage design students.
The Nutcracker runs December 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18. Public performances are sold out.
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