NMDT-PC puts on a festive show

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By Alexandra Hehlen

The winter season is usually associated with snow, Christmas cookies, holiday spirit and, of course, “The Nutcracker” ballet.

This year, the New Mexico Dance Theater-Performance Company presented “The Nutcracker” at Los Alamos High School’s Duane Smith Auditorium.

LAHS senior Jordan Baker played the Nutcracker prince,  while Emily Brown played the role of Clara.

Directed by Susan Baker-Dillingham, the ballet was well put together and was very enjoyable and entertaining to watch.

The presentation showed elements of the classic “Nutcracker” ballet, but NMDT-PC’s show also integrated humor.

The Butler (Dalton Smith) surreptitiously snatched a leftover present from underneath the Christmas tree with a sneaky smile.

The Grandmother, played by Nicole Jeffery, performed a tap dance and pretended to nearly topple over at moments when she felt tired.

In the “Arabian” scene, two bodybuilders from the Los Alamos Fitness Center were recruited to lift dancer Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff, who sat atop a flat palanquin.

The costumes were phenomenal. Planned down to every last detail, they suited the roles of the characters perfectly.

The younger children of the dance crew played the mice and they wore adorable mouse heads with different colored bandanas.

Many dresses were adorned with bows, sparkles, flowers and small details that made the difference between a simple costume and one fit to dazzle the audience. Colorful and shimmery fabrics brightened up the stage.

The dancers were also talented. Their hours of practice showed in their steps and careful coordination.

Although the first show experienced some technical difficulties, the dancers kept skillfully performing their routines as planned.

The show ended with a unique twist: Clara’s parents came running frantically onstage looking for their daughter, only to find her fast asleep on the couch with her beloved wooden Nutcracker.

In all, NMDT-PC put on a wonderful show that thoroughly entertained its audience, displayed the dexterity of its talented dancers and put everyone in the Christmas spirit.