CLEWISTON — The Nutcracker ballet will be performed Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 at Moore Haven Middle Senior High School.
The Nutcracker, always a holiday favorite, will be performed not only by students of the Clewiston Performing Arts Center, but also by members of the communities around Lake Okeechobee.
Jackie Van Slycke, an instructor at the center explained they wanted to include anyone who was interested. The only conditions were the performers had to be willing to attend rehearsals and they had to pay for their own costumes which they are able to keep.
They held auditions for 35 roles. These are for solo or small group parts. The rest of the parts are filled with dancers from the Clewiston Performing Arts Center. With these 70 children added to the 35 central roles, this makes for a large cast.
They have performers from Brighton Reservation, Okeechobee, Lake Port, Moore Haven, Belle Glade, LaBelle and Clewiston. Eight adults auditioned and were given roles in the party scene. Some of the adults had never danced before in their lives but wanted to learn.
“It’s been really fun to work with them and watch them grow as dancers," said Van Slycke.
“What’s really unique about this compared to our other dance school recitals is that it was open to any community member,” said Van Slycke. “It was meant as an outreach and intended to get our small little area more involved in the arts and dance.”
The two main roles in the show are Clara and the nutcracker. Clara is being played by two different girls, one on Friday and one on Saturday. On Friday, Lily Edmonds will take the part, and on Saturday, Clara will be played by Chloe Branaman.
Van Slycke has been an instructor with CPAC for four years and is one of three instructors at the center. She is in charge of the children’s programming for the 3-5 age group and also teaches Hip Hop, Lyrical and Jazz.
The performances will be on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Moore Haven High School, 700 Terrier Avenue. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online through Event Brite or at the door. Event Brite
The auditorium seats approximately 500 so between the two days, the cast will perform to an audience of about 1,000.