It took repeated viewings of a DVD but I finally figured out how to do the simple dance step that had been vexing me. The DVD was the 2008 performance of “The Nutcracker” by the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association. On Saturday morning, I programmed my DVD player to repeat a section of the party scene over and over again while I mimicked the dancers on the screen.
Heather Tang, who played “The Governess,” had a look of surprise when I didn’t step on her foot as I had in most of the rehearsals. I played “The Governor,” who arrives at the party and gets a little rambunctious. I may have played him a tad more rambunctiously than previous Governors. And by “a tad,” I mean “a lot.” I chose to have the Governor egg-on Fritz and the other boys when they wave mice at the party girls. After we toast and drink, I led Heather in an out-of-control waltz.
The roles of the Nutcracker Prince and Clara were each shared by a pair of dancers. David Maccree played the Russian soloist on Saturday night and the Nutcracker Prince on Sunday afternoon. Bob McClure did the opposite. On Saturday, Bob went to his Eagle Scout ceremony between our morning “encore” performance and the night show. Julianna Romanoski and Kylee Haskell split the role of Clara.
ORCBA’s artistic director Molly Koon Quist was in charge of the show. She was assisted by Sharon Nicklow-Cousins. Most of the scenes in “The Nutcracker” are perfect for young kids. In fact, many of the dancers are young kids who play mice, polchinelles, gingerbreads and other parts. The Arabian Coffee scene is a little different. Famous choreographer George Balanchine reportedly said the Arabian dance “gives the fathers something to look at.” I learned that tidbit from Molly’s husband, Brian Quist. Their daughter Katrina played the Arabian princess.