“The Nutcracker” enchants Oak Harbor

The timeless adventure of “The Nutcracker” will dance into Oak Harbor on the slippered feet of Ballet Slipper dancers in time to warm hearts for the holidays.

Watch Clara’s magical dream come to life with the dancers’ gravity-defying motions like “grand jete” and “pique attitude” to the tunes of “Waltz of the Flowers” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

Tickets are on sale now for performances at Oak Harbor High School on Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11.

Mara Powers, 12, will play Clara. She’s been dancing for nine years and also played Clara in 2009.

“I love all the dancing,” Powers said, donning a flowing costume to take on the part of Clara, who receives a nutcracker for Christmas from her godfather. When she falls asleep, she enters a magical world in which the nutcracker grows and everything becomes huge, including mice.

Chloe Peterschmidt, 18, will dance a variety of parts in “The Nutcracker.” After 14 years of dancing, this will be her final performance of the famed ballet at the Ballet Slipper.

“I like that it’s classic ballet,” Peterschmidt said, adding that she enjoys contributing to the Christmas festivities.

Under the tutelage of mistress of dance Diane Geragotelis, the Ballet Slipper staged “The Nutcracker” twice through the Whidbey Playhouse in the past. This is the second time they’re performing it on their own.

Geragotelis only invites certain dancers to join the show. She made all the costumes for the cast of 35 dancers, who perform multiple parts each.

Countless hours of practice went into bringing the enchanting journey of a giant nutcracker, a battle with mice and adventures in the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy to life. As they rehearsed, the dancers’ dedication radiated from the tops of their heads to the tips of their ever-moving ballet slippers.

“I just have a passion for dance,” said 12-year-old Chelsey Kosbar, who has been dancing for seven years. She plays the part of the rat king, among other roles. “It’s kind of like acting a part and I love acting,” she said.

Powers said that ballet “is just a great way to express everything and show everyone the beauty of dance.”

Through their ballet, the dancers will express Clara’s imaginative journey filled with memorable characters, dancing snowflakes and leaping flowers. Afterward, Clara wakes up to realize she’d been dreaming -- “but she wonders if it really was all a dream,” Geragotelis said.

The dancers said they look forward to the performances and hope the community attends.

“It’s such a great way to bring Christmas spirit to Oak Harbor. They don’t have to go to Seattle or South Whidbey; they can come to their high school and enjoy the classical performance. Everyone should come see it because it’s the best way to continue the holidays,” Powers said.


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