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‘The Nutcracker’ Returns to the Stage

Thu, 12/09/2021 - 09:52
Corrina Castillo, at top center, is a senior dancing the role of an Arabian princess in the Hampton Ballet Theater School’s production of “The Nutcracker” next week.
Kyle Froman

The Hampton Ballet Theatre School will present a magical rendition of “The Nutcracker,” a traditional harbinger of holiday cheer, on Friday, Dec. 17, Dec. 18, and Dec. 19. The studio’s 12th production of the beloved ballet is in person, marking a return to live theater after a long hiatus caused by Covid-19.

“Part of why ballet is so fun is we’re all dancing together,” said Molly Radice, who dances as Angel of Spice and other roles. “It’s wild to me that in a week we’ll be onstage again performing. It’s really exciting, and I think it made me realize how much I love performing, ballet, and being with everyone.”

When in-person classes started up again in June, the challenges of those interim dance classes online became clear. There was a lot of catching up to do with regard to endurance, technique, and other aspects.

“The actual feeling of dancing and moving within a space was lost,” said Marrina Jacka, who portrays the Arabian princess in two of the shows. “Dancing when you’re worried about hitting your kitchen counter or your sister’s eyeballs is a totally different feeling. We work off of each other’s energy — that was lost, and now is being re-found.”

Marrina is among several seniors dancing in their final “Nutcracker” with the Hampton Ballet Theatre School. The others are Corrina Castillo and Lauren Halsey, sharing the role of Snow Queen; Ana Kastrati, appearing as Dew Drop Princess in two shows, and Sedona Silvera and Holiday Bovio, both performing as Sugar Plum Fairy. Sharing the key role of Clara for the first time are Devon

Hartstein and Olivia Quinn. Three professional dancers, Austin Joseph Reynolds, Joseph Tudor, and James Monroe Stevko, will partner with some of the advanced students.

Because their usual space at Guild Hall was not available because of renovations, the show is at the Avram Theater on the Stony Brook Southampton college campus. It is the very venue where years ago, Sara Jo Strickland, director of the Hampton Ballet Theatre School, performed in her first “Nutcracker” and many other shows.

Show times are 7 p.m. on Dec. 17, 1 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 18, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 19. Tickets are $25 to $45 in advance, or $30 to $50 when bought at the door. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Tickets can be reserved by calling 888-933-4287 or visiting the studio’s website.

To attend a show, people must show a vaccination card or proof of a negative Covid test. Masks will be worn by all, including the dancers.


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