The Corona Dance Company’s A Nutcracker Tale has become a great tradition to begin the holiday season at Corona. In its fourth annual performance on Dec. 1 and 2, the show did not disappoint.
A Nutcracker Tale reimagined the story of the famous ballet The Nutcracker, integrating dance styles from pointe to hip hop to tap. The show also included influences from less commonly seen styles such as ballroom with dances like “Samba” and “Paso Doble.” The influence of other styles was a nice addition to showcase the talents and moves of other dance styles. Dances like “Arabian” also provided a break from the styles of jazz, contemporary and hip hop, the three most common styles in the show.
The show had a nice beginning. The prelude set up the scene for the story that was about to unfold, and introduced the leads, such as Clara performed by senior Rachel Solomon, Drosselmeyer performed by senior Jacob Zimpfer, and the Sugar Plum Fairy performed by senior Skyler Muir-Mendoza.
The opening was fun and featured all of the dancers. It brought an excited energy to the stage, preparing the audience for the other great dances. In Act I, “Breaking the Nutcracker” choreographed by freshman Nathan Shapiro was hard-hitting and full of energy. It added humor and continued the traditional story of The Nutcracker. It was a highly enjoyable dance.
“The Doll Dance,” performed by Pointe Club, was beautifully executed. It also helped to tie the story of The Nutcracker to this show. Throughout the whole show, it was nice to see a couple of pointe numbers, including two solos and a trio. In particular Mackenzie Stratton’s pointe solo as the Mouse Queen in “Requiem” was outstanding. It was technically challenging, yet she performed it effortlessly.
Lifting the mood created by the slower, contemporary style dances that mainly comprised Act I was “Countdown” performed by Senior Company. Choreographed by Megan Deschapelles, this jazz dance was upbeat. The moves were creative; this originality made it extremely enjoyable. It definitely brought up the mood of the show.
Also in Act I—and per Corona tradition–was “Fight Scene.” This year it was performed by Advanced A and B. When all of the dancers came on stage at the end with the Nutcracker performed by sophomore Sofie Tindall and the hip hop Mouse Queen performed by senior Natalie Lampert, the energy was through the roof. The strobe lighting helped create a powerful, yet undeniably fun feeling. Everyone on the stage looked like they were having a great time.
In Act II, Senior Company really shined. “French” and “Waltz of the Flowers” were two stand-out numbers. “French,” which was choreographed by Lampert and Muir-Mendoza was a cute jazz piece that showcased the talents in Senior Company. “Waltz of the Flowers” was the most visually stunning number of the show. The white flower against the deep red dresses was beautiful. The choreography by Solomon created beautiful lines and shapes on the stage. The falling flower petals at the end of the dance just enhanced the piece. The dance was absolutely gorgeous.
The fourth annual A Nutcracker Tale was the perfect dance show to begin this holiday season.