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Classic ballet with a twist: ‘Nutcracker in a Nutshell’

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 5:56 PM EST
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - You know it’s the holiday season because it is time for the “Nutcracker in a Nutshell.” The production is in Plattsburgh this weekend and I got inside to get you a sneak peek.

This weekend, the Strand Center for the Arts will take you back to the early 19th century.

“I think it’s special because it’s such a classic,” said Juliana Dechavez, a dancer.

But you will see a new spin on the Christmas classic, “The Nutcracker.”

“All brand new choreography top to bottom. It’s an abridged version which is why we have the ‘Nutcracker in a Nutshell.’ It’s a one-act instead of a two,” said Tiffany Rea-Fisher, the artistic director of EMERGE125.

The hourlong ensemble is full of dancers from Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties, and professionals from New York City, too.

“It’s like a big family,” Dechavez said.

They’re on stage as young as 3 dancing alongside other generations of dancers.

The production was put on pause last year because of the pandemic. Because of that, this year they dropped the auditions so everyone could have a role.

“We wanted it to feel inclusive,” Rea-Fisher said.

For many of these dancers, this isn’t their first time in the show.

“I would say this is probably my ninth year,” Dechavez said.

The hard work paying off-- moving into the spotlight.

“I am really excited to play the dewdrop because that is typically played by the oldest girls of the cast, so it’s something you look up to all your years in the production,” Dechavez said.

“A lot of training, definitely. I’ve been doing ‘The Nutcracker’ for three years now, which isn’t that long, but I’m grateful to have to the role,” said Allisyn Yanulavich, a dancer.

For hours on hours of practice on the weekends since September, these dancers are feeling as good as sugar plums ahead of the curtain opening to show the crowd what it is they love the most.

“When you are dancing you can express your emotions through a ton of different things and it’s just awesome, I love it,” Yanulavich said.

The production is this weekend at the Strand Center for the Arts. You will need your mask and vaccination card to get inside. Click here for all the details and ticket information.

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