On December 17, 2016, the Collin County Ballet Theatre performed The Nutcracker at Centennial High School. The main roles were played by Alisa Ishikawa, Jaime Thompson, and Kirt Hathaway. In the play, they delivered the story of a young girl, Clara who was gifted a Nutcracker Doll on Christmas, dreaming about her Nutcracker becoming a life-size Nutcracker Prince. Together, they defeat the Rat King and his Rat Army. In honor of this heroic effort, the Snow Queen and Snow King invite them on a magical journey.
On this journey, many come to entertain Clara, ending the play with the final scene as Clara falls back to sleep. Collin County Ballet Theatre’s performance was just one of many performances of The Nutcracker during the holiday seasons. It was a very popular ballet written in 1892, but popular from the 1960s to present. Every year, ballet companies perform this production. The play itself, is wonderful to watch during the cold winter seasons, as it is heartwarming and cheerful. The music that accompanies the dance gets everyone tapping their feet to the delightful rhythm.
Whether young or old, the storyline is easy to understand and fascinating, fun for all. In Act I, Scene 1, the playful rivalry between Clara and her brother was executed perfectly by the two young actors, Alisha Ishikwa and Tyler Storey. They raced across the stage, exhibiting the playfulness and never-tiring energy to two children. The props used for this scene were stunning: a huge Christmas Tree, the moving life-size present box and the detailed decorations all around the room. They really spread the holiday spirit among the audience.
In Scene II, the dancers were able to display the intensity of the fight with the Rat King and at the same time gracefully dance to the music. In Act II, when Clara sat down to enjoy the performances of the entertainers the Sugar Plum Fairy sent, the audience was in awe as the talented dancers jumped and spun all around the stage. Performers of all ages took a turn delighting Clara and the audience. The costumes were amazing and moved with the dancers as they flew across the stage. There were no falls or major mistakes, so everyone can tell the entire play was very well rehearsed.
After 2 hours of eye-catching performance, the play ended as Clara fell asleep leaving the audience craving for more. Although the Nutcracker is an old play, even now and many years into the future, it will be a popular and well-welcomed play. The choreography and music attracts audiences of all types, both ballet experts and newbies. The Collin County Ballet Theatre did an excellent job performing this decently challenging play and definitely was able to satisfy the audience. It was well directed and a wonderful experience to all.