ST. PETERSBURG — The three-day run of Pinellas County Center for the Arts fall dance performance of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” set the bar high for artistic talent.
The production showcased some of the most gifted young dance performers in the Tampa Bay area.
Hundreds of parents, students, faculty and community members packed the Gibbs Grand Theatre Dec. 10-12 to see artistic director Doricha C. Sales’ version of a holiday classic. Additional choreography was provided by Patricia Paige Parks.
The plot revolved around 16-old-Marie who works for Drosselmeyer’s Dolls. She is a compassionate, kind-hearted, young woman who comes to the rescue of a poor girl in the store during a holiday celebration catering to the upper echelon and their children. One of the girls in attendance falls in love with one of the Nutcrackers for sale in the store and starts dancing with it. The owner of the store sees this and forbids the girls to continue, but she is rescued by Marie who pays for her Nutcracker. For Marie, the magic of the holiday season had just begun.
The gifted performers sparkled with a continuous flow of artistic energy and talent. Never was there a dull moment from curtain opening to the cast’s final bow of the evening. The lead dancers of the show presented Sales and Paige with flowers at the end of the matinee performance on Saturday afternoon.
The students worked on the production the entire fall semester, putting in many extra hours after school for rehearsal. Featured dancers included Taylor Berger, Kalee Curtner, Shawn Cusseaux, Sarah Eisenbaum, Jonas Godwin, Hannah Husenitza, Maya Leonavicius, Kelli Macauley, Kiera Morgan, Zacchaeus Page, Teagan Reed, Nicole Denise Robinson, Ayssa San Giacomo and Isabella Valdes.
In addition to the performers, close to 30 volunteers worked on the production crew to make all the magic of the show seem effortless.