Sunday, October 27, 2013

Clara Corner: Puppy Love

Remember when you were a young teenager and had yet to have your first real boyfriend/girlfriend? I'm not sure about you, but as a young teen I watched romantic movies, read and wrote poetry about love, and dreamed of the day I'd find my very own Prince Charming. He'd be dashing, brave, kind, strong, and wonderful. Not to mention perfect. Of course!
I've been visiting the mindset of young teens lately in preparation for playing Clara in the Nutcracker. She dreams of finding her true love as most other girls do. Her daydreams include much hand-holding and gazing into the eyes of the one who will complete all her romantic dreams. As adults we often trade these fantasies for the reality of adult relationships, and rightly so. The fairy tale belief that one person will come along and solve all your problems is, well, a fairy tale. You have to admit though, there is indeed something naively charming about those kind of dreams while they last.

Clara and her Prince from the Royal Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

It has been fun to revisit the puppy love world in my research for playing Clara (which I will begin my first rehearsals for in the next week or so).Clara, much like many young ladies in famous stories, does find her perfect prince in the end. She has to wade through some icky things first of course (including an annoying younger brother, millions of scary mice, and a battle between a Nutcracker Soldier doll and the King of those horrible mice). She summons up all the courage she has to help the Nutcracker Soldier doll to win the battle, and her prize is-- drum roll please-- her very own Prince.
The Nutcracker Soldier doll transforms into the man of her dreams-- handsome, charming, and of course, a dancer! They dance their way through the Land of Snow and into the Kingdom of the Sweets, where a lavish show is put on in honor of the new lovestruck couple.
...And they all lived happily ever after. Gotta love that! I sure do! I'll be playing out that happily ever after for you as Clara Nov 30th (Lone Tree Arts Center show-- link here for details:, and at Cleo Parker Robinson Theater December 14th 8pm performance, and the closing matinee performance at 3 pm on Dec 15th. Link for tickets at Cleo's and more information here: Would love for you to come out and experience puppy love with us all over again!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Clara Corner: A Dream Realized!

Dancers of Colorado Ballet as Clara and Fritz. I love this photo because it really captures the joy of the Clara character.

Since I was 8 years old and a "Tiny Tot" in my first Nutcracker at Redwood Empire Ballet, I always looked up to the older dancer that played Clara. I have always wanted to play that part and very nearly did one year as a young dancer, but circumstances kept it from happening. Incredibly happy to announce that this year I'm honored with dancing my most long awaited role, with Peter Strand as my Prince. (Bonus, I share the part with my dear friend Rebecca Dean, who God has kept close to my side through many moves and life changes! So cool!)

And, I'm slowly but surely developing my Clara character (for this year's Nutcracker) inside my mind... I'm seeing her as an endearing and spitfire young teenager, who is also a bit headstrong and mischievous (you have to be to have the courage to hit a scary Rat King on the head with a ballet shoe!). She's a sweet girl who lives each moment to the fullest. She's one of those people that gets excited by every single beautiful thing in life and is always bursting with energy. I have quite a few students who fit this personality description and I'm using their fun spirits to inspire me in my portrayal. I'm excited to continue developing this character with more personality details!

Ballet Ariel is presenting The Nutcracker at Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre in December. More specifically, (Sunday) December 8th at 3 pm, (Saturday) December 14th 3 pm and 8 pm, and closing matinee on (Sunday) December 15th at 3 pm. Go here to buy tickets:  I'll let you know which shows I am performing the role of Clara as soon as I know!