Ballet Ensemble of Texas highlights unity, hard work in spellbinding performance of “The Nutcracker”


Akhila Gunturu

Dancers practice the finale of “The Nutcracker” during the Dec. 4 rehearsal. The Ballet Ensemble of Texas performed its annual production of “The Nutcracker” on Saturday and Sunday at Irving Arts Center.

Akhila Gunturu, Staff Writer

IRVING – Gracefully twirling on stage and shining with bright smiles, the Ballet Ensemble of Texas showcased hard work and unity with “The Nutcracker” this past Saturday and Sunday at Irving Arts Center. 

The Ballet Ensemble of Texas has been performing “The Nutcracker” for 20 years, and this year, the two shows on both days were completely sold out. The ballet features dancers from ages 3 and up, creating a sense of unity and togetherness between the dancers. 

“[The Ballet Ensemble of Texas’s Nutcracker] is special because it joins all dancers together,” Coppell High School sophomore Miisha Masterson said. 

Masterson played the Hungarian act lead, a ballerina doll and a corps de ballet dancer in the snow scene.

“The Nutcracker” is a two-act ballet often performed during Christmastime with a score composed by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky. The first act opened with the Siiberhaus family’s Christmas Eve party, where the main character, Clara, was given a hand-carved Nutcracker from her Uncle Drosselmeyer. Drosselmeyer amuses the party-goers in a series of whimsical dances done by dolls. 

“It engages all of your senses,” attendee Ashley Epstein said. “It’s an experience, so you get to make it as big or little as you want to.” 

Clara then falls asleep, and in her dream, the Nutcracker comes to life and takes her through the Kingdom of Snow and the Land of Sweets after a battle between evil mice and the Nutcracker Prince’s soldiers. Act II opens in the Land of Sweets, where Clara watches several dances to represent sweets from all over the world.

“You go through this fantasy world,” Masterson said. “It’s very enjoyable.” 

The famous Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier finished in a grande pas de deux (structured duet of five parts) before the finale, where all of the dancers appeared on stage to be honored by the crowd. Afterward, attendees flocked to the lobby to gift the dancers with flowers and congratulate them before their next show. 

“It’s important to show up for people and the endeavors they pursue,” Epstein said. 

 “The Nutcracker” also highlights the work of the young dancers. Preparation, including selecting the dancers, learning the dances and rehearsing, started in September and lasted all the way until the show in early December. The result is an eye-pleasing, captivating performance of a magical story.

CHS sophomore Nia Savova attended to watch her sister, Julia Savova, a seventh grader at Coppell Middle School East, who plays a Hungarian dancer.

“Everyone who took part in the show has an admiration and passion for the dances,” Nia said. “It all looks really great and you can definitely tell the amount of work they put into it.” 


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