On Saturday Vermont Ballet Theater began their tour of the annual holiday favorite The Nutcracker at Johnson State College's Dibden Center for the Arts. A snowstorm did not deter sold out crowds of young and old.
As breathtaking as the Kingdom of Sweets can be, it is behind the scenes where things get really colorful. Backstage mice, flowers, soldiers, elves, clowns, and snowflakes roamed the corridors in search of snacks and distraction before their big moment on stage.
The Nutcracker roles are carefully regimented and each year dancers move one step up, from soldiers to mice to party girls to multiple lead roles. The members of the company know all the dance routines in the second act and are able to fill in if someone gets hurt.
The roles switch for every performance so the girl playing Clara at 1pm is a snowflake in the next show. How they manage to keep track of these changes is mind boggling.
The dancers maintain good grades, suffer through blisters and practice 18 hrs/week. Why do they do it? For the tiaras, the tutus, the spotlight or the applause? Watch and see.
Their next stop is the Flynn Center Dec 22-23 and October 1st.