DanceWest brings ‘Nutcracker’ to NCC
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media December 9, 2011 7:32AM
DanceWest Ballet will present The Nutcracker Dec. 10-11 at North Central College in Naperville. | Courtesy of DanceWest
DanceWest Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’
♦ Dec. 9-11
♦ Tickets, $30-$23
♦ Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville
♦ (630) 778-1303
Updated: December 16, 2011 1:14PM
DanceWest Ballet of Naperville brings “The Nutcracker” to North Central College with a show featuring more than 130 dancers from DuPage County.
Ricardo and Regina Moyano are the school’s founders and co-directors, and this marks the 20th anniversary of “The Nutcracker.”
Public performances will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 9, and at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11. Performances for schools are at 10 a.m. Dec. 8 and 9 at Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville’s North Central College. These performances feature principle guest artists from international and national ballet companies, members of DanceWest Ballet Company and several other area dancers who auditioned.
Regina Moyano said that despite 20 years of doing the show, they find ways to keep it fresh through use of guest artists, new choreography and costumes.
“I think our guest artists that we bring in – we’re bringing in 13 this year – we bring in world class guest artists and that brings a different look to our company,” she said. “We augment 130 dancers from the DuPage area, and the guest artists come in and dance in some of the roles and dance with the children, and when they come they work with our dancers. That makes it fresh and new every year for all of us, and our dancers get to see and word with world-class dancers.
Every year in the battle scene and party scene, we add little things that keep it fresh and new and fun for us.”
Ricardo Moyano is doing the role of Dr. Drosselmeyer, and he always adds new magic tricks, she said.
“We add new costumes as well over the years. We have new snow costumes this year,” she said. “I think the costumes are really ornate. It’s a spectacular costuming production.”
All of the roles are double cast, she said.
“We have nine performances, so we double cast everything so the dancers get a chance to do more than one part and in case there’s an injury. It gives everyone a chance to do more dancing.”
What makes this production all the more heartwarming is that they have very young children in the cast, right alongside the professionals.
“It’s a high level (of professionalism), but at the same time we have four-year-old cherubs and little walk-ons in the party scene,” she said. “Their genuine excitement carries all the way through and adds to the production. Their excitement is contagious.”
The story, dance and costuming is traditional “Nutcracker,” she said, filled with classical ballet. They even have a magical tree that “grows” from the ground, as well as a few other tricks and surprises.
Randy Herrera, a former principle dancer with Houston Ballet, is the featured guest artist as the Cavalier.
“He’s really accomplished, just a world-renown dancer, and we’re really fortunate to have him,” she said. “He does a lot of overhead lifts and turns with the Sugar Plum, and that’s very exciting in the second act. This is our fourth or fifth year having Randy guest with us. We’re really fortunate.”
Something she has noticed in the 20 years of performing “The Nutcracker” is that the show has become a Christmastime tradition.
“I think that it really has become over these 20 years a tradition at Pfeiffer Hall. People not even involved in our school that are part of the community look forward to seeing ‘The Nutcracker,’” she said. “It has become part of their family’s tradition and that’s how they start their holiday. It’s a heartwarming production in that it’s got little ones in it, and at the same time, it’s a high-level, high-quality production.”