The 2012 production of "The Nutcracker," presented by Colorado Dance theatre group, took place Dec. 7-9 at the Union Colony Civic Center. "The Nutcracker" is performed annually around the world and has played in Greeley for 18 years. The ballet is a celebration of the Christmas season.
"What a blessing it is to work with such amazingly talented and beautiful dancers," said Debbie Larsen, who has choreographed and directed the classic Christmas holiday ballet for the last 11 years. "Thank you for your endless hours of rehearsals and the many sacrifices that you make so that we can bring this beautiful ballet to our community. Working with you brings me such joy."
In the first act, a young woman named Clara is given a Nutcracker as a gift from the mysterious Herr Drosselmeyer. Once the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, Clara awakens to a magical reality - her Nutcracker doll has transformed into a handsome prince with whom she travels to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and the yuletide members of her kingdom. The role of Clara starred Carly McClees Friday and Saturday and Tiffany Dann on Sunday.
"I really enjoy watching 'The Nutcracker' because there is so much enthusiasm," said Emilie Daniels, who saw the show for the first time last year and said she could not wait to return. "It is such an enjoyable show."
Guests artists Randy Herrera and Autumn Eckman were the highlights of the performance. Eckman, who danced the coveted role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, is originally from Atlanta and has trained with the Atlanta Ballet, Tom Pazik and the Houston Dance Company. Herrera, who played Cavalier and earned several outbreaks of ecstatic applause for his agile spins and acrobatics, earned the prestigious Princess Grace award and is a frequent guest artist at ballet studios both nationally and internationally.
The show boasted nearly full seating at all three shows and the performances were well-received, resulting in a standing ovation on one of the nights. The audience ranged from infants to senior citizens. Sue Dowdy attended the event with her best friend of decades because her niece bought her tickets as a holiday present. She had never seen "The Nutcracker" and has not attended many theatrical or ballet performances in her lifetime.
"It is beautiful and festive," Dowdy said. "The set is so colorful and seasonal. The dancers are wonderful."
For more information about upcoming Union Colony Civic Center events, check out their website at ucstars.com.