Studio West’s Nutcracker Brings Ballet to Life

by Christina Butcher for OLY ARTS

No holiday season is complete without settling into a soft, cozy theater seat to watch Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker ballet. Studio West Dance Academy knows just how important the dance is to building holiday cheer, and it’s doing its part to bring The Nutcracker to life once again this winter at the Minnaert Center for the Performing Arts. “For a dancer, the year is not complete without The Nutcracker,” said Stephanie Wood-Ennett, co-director at Studio West Dance Academy. “It’s part of their learning experience as a performer. It’s saturated into what ballet is.”

Studio West’s The Nutcracker will feature seven performances over the course of a single week. Its two casts include over 230 dancers, all of whom have been rehearsing since September. “The students inspire me,” Wood-Ennett said. “By the time we get to the theater and they’re on stage, there are no more corrections. The ballet is theirs. They own it. That’s the most rewarding moment.”

The Nutcracker will also feature guest artist and Pacific Northwest Ballet’s professional soloist Joshua Grant. Grant’s addition to Studio West’s The Nutcracker marks his second year as a guest performer with the dance academy, where he serves as a resident choreographer and instructor for the 2017-2018 dance season. “It’s awesome to see our students working with a professional dancer. It creates a buzz in the studio and it inspires everyone,” said Wood-Ennett.

To keep the whole family engaged in the ballet experience, Studio West will host Clara’s Winter Wonderland Party before each matinee performance of The Nutcracker. The gathering gives younger audience members a chance to listen to storytellers read The Nutcracker, take pictures with ballet performers and enjoy treats inspired by the ballet. “I want people to leave feeling entertained, with a smile on their face and asking when the next performance is,” said Wood-Ennett. “I want them to have appreciation for ballet, the arts, live theater and for what the kids are doing on stage.”

WHAT Studio West Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker

WHERE Kenneth J Minnaert Center for the Arts, South Puget Sound Community College,
2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia

WHEN 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 16; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 17; 1 p.m. Dec. 18

HOW MUCH $24 – $26

LEARN MORE 360-357-7462 | Studio West Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker

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