BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Did you know the Magic City is lucky enough to have one of eight companies in the entire world that’s granted the rights to perform Balanchine’s The Nutcracker?
The Alabama Ballet is one of the eight worldwide companies, and the local ballerinas tell us the experience of The Nutcracker is magical.
“I love dance,” dancer Madison Ryan replied. “I love all kinds of dance, but especially ballet because you can dress up in a tutu and be a different character also while performing all the things you worked so for every day in the studio.”
That powerful combination of passion and hard work make for an amazing performance.
“I teach some of the younger students in the school and it’s really fun, they get to come see me and they are just enchanted by it,” Jordan Schwinabart explained. “They love it. Definitely it’s really magical for kids to be able see.”
The undeniable magic of the production inspired Alabama Ballet dancer Elizabath Gamble when she was a small child, and has persisted ever since.
“I’ve been a part of the Balanchine Nutcracker here at Alabama Ballet for fifteen years, which is a really long time,” Gamble reflected. “I started as a party boy and a Polichinelle in second act and now I’ve moved up to Marzipan and Dewdrop so, that’s exciting.”
She said part of the excitement is the uniqueness of the Balanchine version.
“Balanchine to me is like a whole different style of dancing. You start with your whole body, your arms move differently, your feet move differently,” Gamble explained. “It’s a whole different change from what you’re doing regularly year to year.”
But it’s not just the dancing—there is even more magic these ballerinas love about the show.
“I love the snow scene,” dancer Carolina Marques declared. “It’s very demanding for the girls. It’s very hard, physically. But just watching it, we always watch when the snow starts falling at first–it just feels really magical.”
But the rare snowflake in Alabama isn’t the only magical part of the production, though the dancers would credit their hard work and passion as the reason they’re the standout ballet company in the state.
“Knowing that this is the premiere company in the state, I would definitely say this is the one to see,” Claire White pointed out. “You know you’re going to get a high, professional quality level of ballet. And knowing that it’s Balanchine’s choreography it’s something that you’ll feel excited to see. It’s not just another Nutcracker. It is the Nutcracker to come and see!
And you can see it at the Samford Wright Center, December 9 – 11 and 16 – 18. Click here to get your tickets before they’re sold out.