Community talent presents ‘The Nutcracker’ in Keystone |

Community talent presents ‘The Nutcracker’ in Keystone

Kimberly Nicoletti
summit daily news

“The Nutcracker” is a holiday favorite, and for the sixth year, a condensed version of the magical story returns to Summit County, through performances by the Summit Community Orchestra and Summit School of Dance.

In the story, Clara receives the gift of a nutcracker, which transforms into a prince who escorts Clara through an enchanting journey to the Kingdom of Sweets. In the process, they travel through exotic dance worlds, including Arabian, Chinese, Spanish, the Waltz of the Flowers and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. This year, the show also includes a bake sale – full of Russian tea cakes and gingerbread cookies – to touch the audiences’ “sweet tooths” a little deeper.

“Set to the timeless music of Tchaikovsky, this is a performance for the entire family,” said Summit Community Orchestra president Erika Krainz, adding that Kenneth Evans will conduct the orchestra.

This year, “The Nutcracker” moves from Summit High School auditorium to Keystone’s Warren Station. Though the groups are excited to perform there, the change of venue provided a bit of a challenge for dance director Melanie Frey.

“I had to think about things a little harder than I’ve had to,” Frey said, explaining that the Warren Station stage is wide, but not as deep, and smaller wing areas create challenges for organizing the approximately 20 kids in the show.

The dancers have rehearsed for over a month, but they face the challenge – and great opportunity – of dancing to live music. Though the live music can “very much energize them,” it also requires deep listening skills, because sometimes live music cues are harder to hear than the recorded version of “The Nutcracker” by the London Symphony Orchestra, Frey said.

“It’s a really good challenge for the girls,” she said.

The Summit Community Orchestra will conclude the evening with a performance of orchestral holiday favorites.

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