DanceWest marks 20th year of ‘Nutcracker’ shows
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media December 9, 2010 12:44PM
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 17; 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19
Where: North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville
How much: $30 adults; $23 children 12 and under
Contact: 630-637-7469 or visit www.northcentralcollege.edu/showtix
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
DanceWest Ballet of Naperville celebrates its 20th year of “The Nutcracker” with five public performances at North Central College.
The timeless holiday classic will be performed in Pfeiffer Hall at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19. Plus, there will be two school performances Dec. 15 and 16.
For 20 years, the DuPage County dance school has performed the story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. DanceWest Ballet was founded by the husband and wife team of Regina Helmer Moyano and Ricardo Moyano, both former professional dancers.
Studio manager Michelle Zatulovsky said there are about 120 cast members, including students, alumni and guest artists, in the production.
“We do have quite a few alums coming back. When they graduate from high school and go off to college, they come back and help out with different performances,” she said. “We have several of those who are in college but wanted to participate again. We were really happy about that.”
Although this is the 20th production, not much has changed from year to year with the exception of choreography based on the dancers’ abilities.
“With each production we tweak things here and there depending on the dancers and their levels and capabilities,” she said. “If we have a group of really advanced dancers, the directors will change things to reflect their abilities. And every year, there’s a new crop of dancers and new faces to add new flavor to the roles.”
This year, there will be some changes and updates to the costumes, she said.
The school performances will be abridged — there will be no grand pas between the Sugar Plum and the Cavalier. The public performances will feature guest artists in the roles of the Sugar Plum and the Cavalier performing the grand pas.
The guest artists for “The Nutcracker” will be Katia Carranza, a former principal dancer with the Miami City Ballet, as the Sugar Plum; and as the Cavalier, Randy Herrera, a principal dancer formerly with the Houston Ballet.
The pair performed the roles last year as well, she said.
Zatulovsky is excited for the dancers to be able to show off their hard work to the audiences.
“I think they can expect something that will visually capture the feeling of the holidays,” she said. “They will see local people from their community dancing side by side with professional dancers in a production that we want to look as professional as possible. They will see beautiful costumes, bright colors that match the scenery and beautiful dancing.”