Enjoy a Christmas Classic: AVA’s The Nutcracker (Review)

Coffee: The Arabians (Jacob Hancock & Jordan Carter). Image: Patrick Kennedy.

By: Cynthia Kennedy
Photographs by: Patrick Kennedy

Christmas traditions are wonderful to create for small children, as well as to recreate for adults. The Nutcracker Ballet has been a Christmas tradition for over 100 years. It was first performed in 1892, at the Marinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, conducted by its creator, Peter Tchaikovsky.

The A.V.A. Ballet Theatre, the resident ballet company of the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, will be performing the story of Clara, and the nutcracker she receives as a Christmas gift, Friday, Dec. 7th through Sunday, Dec. 9th, 2018 at the center. Laura Jackson, Music Director of the Reno Philharmonic, will conduct a 43 piece orchestra, showcasing this classic work of Tchaikovsky.

The A.V.A.’s cast of dancers features dozens of local children, as well as principle dancers from renowned ballet companies drawn from across the country. All are impressive with their interpretation of the characters, from Clara and the Nutcracker, to scheming little mice, gingerbread soldiers, snowflakes, flowers, sweets, international dancers, and the captivating Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy. Alexander Van Alstyne, A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s, Artistic Director, has beautifully choreographed this enchanting story and it’s truly amazing to see the love and artistry with which it’s enthusiastically performed.

The curtain opens on a wintery evening, and guests are making their way through falling snow to a Victorian home in the distance. The parents are carrying gifts, with their children excited at the prospect of a festive evening. Even their dog is anxious to get there. Upon arriving, they’re ushered into a crimson salon, where a huge Christmas tree is surrounded by presents.

Alexander Van Alstyne, A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s, Artistic Director, has beautifully choreographed this enchanting story and it’s amazing to see the love and artistry with which it’s enthusiastically performed.

The old toymaker, Herr Drosselmeyer, arrives with dolls for the girls, and toy horns for the boys, but he has a special present for Clara — a Nutcracker. In the night, after the guests have left and Clara’s gone to sleep, the magic begins as the Nutcracker comes to life, and an adventure unfolds that takes them both through a mighty battle, to the forest of the Snow Queen and on to the Land of Sweets, where an entire extravaganza of performers from around the world dance for Clara and her Nutcracker Prince.

The exciting night concludes with a waltz performed by the Sugar Plum Fairy, who then escorts Clara and the Prince from their thrones. Clara waves goodbye to all her new friends as she leaves in her magical white sleigh, concluding a night of Christmas dreams.

The love of the Nutcracker story and music is universal. From the first note of the overture, to the Waltz of the Snowflakes, the character dances of Chocolate (Spanish), Coffee (Arabian), Tea (Chinese), and The Trepek (Russian), as well as the Waltz of the Flowers and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, you’ll be taken back to your childhood, creating lasting Christmas memories for your own children or grandchildren.

Never Miss a Story on This Is Reno

Support truly local journalism by subscribing to our newsletter. It’s free, and you may unsubscribe at any time. We are locally owned and operated.

Details

Nutcracker performances: Friday, December 7th, at 8 pm, Saturday, December 8th, at 2 pm and 8 pm and Sunday, December 9th, at 2 pm at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Reno. Ticket prices are $27 to $60 with discounts for seniors and children.

For tickets call the Pioneer Center box office at 1-866-553-6605 or online at pioneercenter.com.

For a special treat, take your children to the Sugar Plum Party which will be held after the Saturday and Sunday afternoon performances. There, they’ll meet the Nutcracker performers!

The Nutcracker Cast of Main Characters:

  • Clara: Kiera Dyson
  • The Nutcracker: Nico Yaroslaski
  • Herr Drosselmeyer: William Pizzumo
  • Snow Queen: Katy Schwarzweller
  • Snow King: Devin Hammond
  • Dew Drop: Abbie Tate
  • Sugar Plum Fairy: Kathleen Martin
  • Sugar Plum Cavalier: Ryan Jolicoeur Nye
ThisIsReno
About ThisIsReno 12763 Articles
ThisisReno is your source for online Reno news and events since 2009. We are locally owned and operated. #thisisReno

1 Comment

  1. Here are the captions for the photos so you know the talented dancers who played these roles! 1575 – The Christmas party

    1617 – Clara (Kiera Dyson) is gifted the Nutcracker from Herr
    Drosselmeyer (William Pizzuro)

    1672 – The Nutcracker & Gingerbread Soldiers

    1684St – Epic battle of the Mouse King & Nutcracker

    1703 – The Nutcracker prince (Nico Yaroslaski) & Clara (Kiera Dyson)

    1756 – Snow Queen (Katy Schwarzweller) & Snow King (Devin Hammond)

    1759 – Snow King & Queen (Devin Hammond & Katy Schwarzweller) with their
    Snowflake Court

    1777 – Snow Queen (Katy Schwarzweller) & Snow King (Devin Hammond)

    1798 – The Land of Sweets, Clara & the Nutcracker Prince (Kiera Dyson &
    Nico Yaroslaski) meet the Sugarplum Fairy & her consort (Kathleen Martin
    & Ryan Jolicoeur Nye)

    1812 – Clara & the Nutcracker Prince (Kiera Dyson & Nico Yaroslaski)
    with the Sugarplum Fairy & her Cavalier (Kathleen Martin & Ryan
    Jolicoeur Nye)

    1823 – Chocolate: The Spanish Dancers (Breanna Garcia, Inez Guerrant, &
    Emi Kase Rohlfing)
    &
    2064 – Same

    1827 – Coffee: The Arabians (Jacob Hancock & Jordan Carter)

    1838st – Coffee: The Arabians (Jacob Hancock & Jordan Carter)

    1846 – Coffee: The Arabians (Jacob Hancock & Jordan Carter)

    1859 – Tea: Chinese Dancers (Devin Hammond, soloist)

    1874st – Tea: Chinese Dancers (Devin Hammond, soloist)

    1893 – Russian Trepek (Hannah Heyes, Conor Mink, Gaby Palmer)

    1897 – The Mirlitons (French pastries) dance with Clara

    1914Li – Mother Ginger with her Ginger Girl “Surprise” (Doreen Begley)

    1917ShCr – “Surprise!” It’s the Ginger Girls!!

    1927 – Dance of the Ginger Girls

    1950LiSt – Waltz of the Flowers

    1955 – The Dewdrop Fairy (Abbie Tate)

    1956Cr – The Dewdrop Fairy (Abbie Tate)

    1964Li – The Dewdrop Fairy dances among the Flowers

    1980 – The Flowers

    1991 – The Dewdrop Fairy & her Flowers

    1998CrSt – The Sugar Plum Fairy & her Cavalier dance the Grand Pas de
    Deux (Kathleen Martin & Ryan Jolicoeur Nye)

    2059CrSt – The Sugar Plum Fairy & her Cavalier dance the Grand Pas de
    Deux (Kathleen Martin & Ryan Jolicoeur Nye)

    2105CR – Clara (Kiera Dyson) bids goodbye to the Land of Sweets and
    rides off in her sleigh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*