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All Cracked Up

Maci+Rasmussen%2C+shining+bright+as+Clara.%0APhoto+provided+by+Absolute+Dance
Maci Rasmussen, shining bright as Clara. Photo provided by Absolute Dance

Winter break is upon us which means there’s more time to engage in annual holiday festivities. The Nutcracker, a ballet with music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky has become a classic of the holiday season. With unwavering hard work and flowing creativity, Colorado West Performing Arts Company and Absolute Dance have put together a memorable show.

Through December 16th-23rd, the professional dancers of CWPAC and students of Absolute Dance will showcase their talents on the Robinson Theater stage at Colorado Mesa University. The nine performances of The Nutcracker certainly test the limits of each dancer. The first act sets the scene of a Christmas party. A party girl, Clara is gifted a Nutcracker who later comes to life. The animated Nutcracker is accompanied by little soldiers to battle the Rat King and his little mice. The Snow Queen and King arrive along with the demi and corps Snowflakes. An eight minute blizzard encapsulates the audience as the dancers strike fiercely. Act Two follows Clara and Nutcracker across the Land of Sweets, a dreamlike candyland. 

Although The Nutcracker is a December special, rehearsals have been in full swing since October. For three months straight, the dancers have practiced the complex choreography hours on end. This cycle guarantees perfection, making the show a marvel to witness. 

Junior Morgan Montgomery is an advanced student at Absolute Dance. She has been involved in countless productions but claims her favorite one is The Nutcracker. Montgomery reflects on the rigorous process, “Rehearsing for ballets is a lot of work. It usually ends up being three to four hours every weekend for multiple months.”

Nutcracker season coincides with the finals week. It’s very stressful to balance nightly shows, studying, and test taking. The lengthy choreography and even lengthier rehearsals can take a toll on the dancers. “What makes The Nutcracker so special is the dedication that is put in. On top of rehearsals and finals, it shows how hard everyone works to make the show great.” Despite the challenges, the professionals and students persevere through it. 

Ultimately, the show is special to the community. Settle in for the sweetest holiday treat. The intricate costumes and memorable performances make watching The Nutcracker an integral part of the holidays.

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About the Contributor
Gaby Suazo, Staff Member
Hi, I’m Gaby Suazo and I am a sophomore. This is my first year writing for Paw Post and I am so excited to share what I am passionate about! Other than writing, I enjoy dancing, thrifting, hiking, listening to music (Tame Impala, boygenius, SZA, Adrianne Lenker, Tyler, the Creator) and eating pesto pizza.
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