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The Nutcracker Ballet: the history and a local upcoming production

The lights, the stage, the music.

A familiar tune plays in the background… something that seems to be a distant memory, a whisper that was once vaguely played into the ear of an oblivious listener.

But no, it’s far more than just familiar. The music is repeated yearly, yet is a thrill to audience members each time the curtains raise.

The Nutcracker Ballet is the renowned story of a young girl, Clara, who receives a nutcracker from her godfather as a gift. When her nutcracker transforms into a prince, she follows him through the land of sweets.

WHS student, Bronwen Guy ’22, was given the role of Clara early in September.

The show will be playing at the Civic Arts Plaza on Dec. 15 and 16. Guy will be playing Clara Sunday the 15th.

“I was nervous for the audition, but I didn’t think I was going to get the part so I was more relaxed than usual,” said Guy on auditioning for the role. “When I got called back I got so scared but [at the same time] was so excited. It was weird trying out for the main part with all of the teachers [you train with] watching you.”

Although she is a year younger than the age that most girls cast as Clara are, Guy has been dancing with Pacific Festival Ballet, the company that puts on the show, since she was eight years old.

Being younger than her competition in the room, having experience with the company may have boosted her chances in securing the role.

“I have to do my best and really take [the lead role] seriously because I feel like I need to prove myself worthy.”

Guy’s age in being given such major role in the production provides extra pressure, especially with the already-high standards set from the previous Claras.

Pacific Festival Ballet is about to celebrate its 25th Nutcracker production with a few new sets and backdrops because of fundraising.

However, the ballet itself is over 100 years old, 126 exactly, according to ThoughtCo.

   The composer of this famous ballet was Tchaikovsky. His other works include Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.

“Tchaikovsky was the first great composer to write for the ballet and the first whose ballet music came to be appreciated away from the stage and in the concert hall,” wrote

His music is still played and appreciated as the tradition of The Nutcracker ballet has continued throughout the world for over 125 years, according to ThoughtCo.

“Being Clara certainly differs from other roles that I have played in this ballet,” said Guy. “I really need to focus and make sure that I do a good job.”

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The Nutcracker Ballet: the history and a local upcoming production