Local teens star in 'The Nutcracker'
Show at Lakeridge for the first time
A Lake Oswego High School senior and a Lakeridge High School senior are among an elite group of principals starring in The Nutcracker and Holiday Showcase this month.
Madeline Robertson of LOHS will be the Sugar Plum Fairy, a lead role, and Audrey Wells of Lakeridge also has major roles as the Snow Queen and Dew Drop Fairy. The ninth annual production Dec. 15 will be the work of about 145 dancers from Westside Dance & Gymnastics Academy in Tigard.
Its the first time the holiday dance exhibition has come to Lakeridge High. The venue changes each year so the dancers, who are mostly from the greater Portland metro area, can shine in their own communities. Last year, the event was in Tigard.
Performing is an important part of the academys curriculum, said Sarah Jakubowski, Westside accelerated dance director.
It just opens their eyes to whats out there, Jakubowski said.
The second half of the show is devoted to a series of small groups performing tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop routines, and the first half is Westsides presentation of The Nutcracker.
The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet that debuted in 1892 and is set to Tchaikovskys well-known score.
The music is just really beautiful, said Wells, 18.
Her mom, Sarah Wells, said shes very proud of her daughter, who came a little later to dancing than most eighth grade. She said the combination of passion for dance and technique makes her daughter fantastic on her feet.
Shes got a particular quality of movement, too, that I think makes her special, Sarah Wells said. Theres something undefinable.
Audrey Wells said shes looking forward to the showcase.
Its a fun show, she said. Theres a lot of people from the area in it, so thats exciting to see.
Some details change depending on the director, but the core story of The Nutcracker focuses on a child, usually named Clara or Marie. She falls asleep on Christmas Eve, her mind conjuring a world featuring a nutcracker her talented, toy-making grandfather created for entertainment that evening. Clara and the nutcracker, who transforms into a prince, dance through a fantasy world full of curious characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Mouse King, Snow Queen and Dew Drop Fairy.
Ive been dreaming of being the Sugar Plum Fairy ever since I first started doing ballet in the fifth grade, said Robertson, 18.
Her ballet instructor chose her for the role after a period of observation from August to October.
Robertson, who also has played the Snow Queen and Dew Drop in Westsides production of The Nutcracker, will perform alongside her younger sister, Peyton, a member of the flute corps. She said that makes it special, plus shes going on to college and it will be her last time in the Westside showcase.
So, its nice to kind of have my last one in my hometown, and its a really beautiful theater too, so Im really excited about it, Robertson said.
Her father, Kevin Robertson, said it is the first time Peyton, who was ill for a while, has been on stage since she got out of the hospital in May. He said he and his wife, Pam, are really proud of their girls.
The dance program is really rigorous, he said. It takes a lot of practice time and effort, and they have to give up a lot of their school activities.
How to attend
What: Ninth Annual Nutcracker and Holiday Showcase
When: Noon and 4 p.m. Dec. 15
Where: Lakeridge High School auditorium, 1235 Overlook Drive, Lake Oswego
Cost: $15 per ticket
Tickets: Available at the door. To buy an advance ticket, call 503-639-5388 or visit Westside Dance & Gymnastics Academy at 11632 SW Pacific Highway, Tigard.
Jillian Daley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @jilliandaley.
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