On Dec. 2 and 3 the Corona del Sol Dance Co. performed it’s third annual Nutcracker Tale under the direction of dance teacher Elizabeth Pease. Corona began performing the Nutcracker when Pease was hired as the new Corona dance instructor and every year it seems to get better and better.
As an avid follower of Corona fine arts, this dance show was one of the best shows I have seen in my four years here at Corona. All companies seem to have a great set of girls and guys that really make it special.
The lead roles of each character of the tale were very fitting and performed amazingly by each student. Junior Skyler Muir-Mendoza was a great Clara and embodied everything the character is in the original Nutcracker tale. Along with Sugar Plum Fairy senior Sophia Betcher and Mouse Queen senior Allegra Dunbar, who embodied their character to perfection.
The first scene of the show, “Party Scene,” set the tone for the entire night. It showed that the night would be filled with great choreography along with great lighting work and a great mixture of contemporary and hip hop routines. Having a mixture of the slower pieces and up-beat pieces kept the audience awake throughout the entire show. This always seems to be a problem for me when I go to any dance show and recital. Having too many slower contemporary and lyrical pieces can easily get me tired, but having way too many hip hop and jazz routines can leave me bored. Yet the show this weekend had the perfect mixture of both.
In the first half, there were a lot of great pieces. “Barbie Dolls” was very up beat and left me with a smile on my face at the end of the performance. The person that really stuck out during that piece was sophomore Sarah Fuller, who had the perfect facial expressions throughout the night accompanied with great execution of the dance itself. Also, the “Dream Scene” choreographed by Corona alumni Sam Howard and performed by the Junior Company was my favorite dance of the entire night. Stand-out dancer junior Jacob Zimfer (who also played the Prince) was amazing in this piece giving the audience big movements and great faces, which conveyed the story perfectly. Then, you have the “Fight Scene” performed by Senior and Junior Company, which was a great piece to perform after the “Dream” and “Nightmare” scenes. The “Fight Scene” had the audience roaring with excitement after the fighting occurred with strobe light effects to make the scene just that much more special.
After intermission, there was a break from the Nutcracker tale as the Senior Company performed its “Tribute Dance,” which paid tribute to all the fallen Aztecs. I watched this performed three times and every time that piece ended I felt my eyes water. It was an absolutely beautiful piece, danced with such passion and emotion.
The Senior Company has never looked better. There is definitely great talent all across the company itself. Other than the main characters of the tale, there were standouts senior Lily Clyne along with sophomore Makenzie Stratton, who looked stunning throughout the entire night. Also, something that stuck out to me the second half of the production was the great use of different cultures. You have the “Mama Africa,” “Russian,” “French,” and “Tokyo Drift” pieces, which made the production very unique and colorful. I also want to give a shout out to the Pointe Club, who were ravishing the entire night.
The dance show was the best I have ever seen it the past three years they have been performing the classic Nutcracker tale. There is great talent all across the board in every company. This show makes me very excited for what the Corona Dance Company creates for their spring show next semester.