BWW Previews: THE NUTCRACKER at First State Ballet Theatre
Aisle Say had the opportunity to visit a rehearsal for First State Ballet Theatre's NUTCRACKER at The Grand on December 21 and 22.
Celebrating its 20th year as Delaware's only professional ballet troupe, a move from the original Newport DE studio to The Grand Opera House's 3rd Floor in 2003 was fortuitous. The prestigious address was aided with funding from individuals, the city, The Longwood Foundation and The Welfare Foundation (both DuPont-related entities).
In 2008, led by Board Chair and impassioned advocate Robert Grenfell, FSBT launched their first professional season with 10 dancers. The roster is presently at 23. The mission remains- serving the entire state. They performed DRACULA at Cape Henlopen High last month and danced on Freeman Stage during the summer.
Equally important is the group's impact on DE's performing arts scene, not to mention both the dancing professionals and the tens of dozens of students through the years. These benefits have been exponential and immeasurable.
This year's NUTCRACKER will be nothing if not magical.
With 4 performances over 2 days, the two leading dancers will be split. Rie Aoki and Zane Winders (I call him Inzanity due to the height he gets on his jumps) will be Marie and The Prince on Dec. 21 @ 2pm and Dec. 22 @ 4:30pm. Angela Zieran and Kevin Wong will do the roles on Dec 21 @ 7pm and Dec 22 @ 1pm.
In Act II the following dancers will perform:
SPANISH: Gustavo Madubuike, Andrew (Dracula) Matte, Jessica Eizember and Sabrina Shultz
ARABIAN: April White, Nova Gaffney, Leyna Obara, Megan Cox and Jamie Meyer
CHINESE: Richy Romero, Elena Olshin, Georgia, Azelie Faia
RUSSIAN: Tomas Fischer. Zion Harris, Abigail Kastan, Kaitlyn Peterson, Hannah Goykhman and Desiree Nguyen
MARZIPAN: Many students of FSBT led by Daniel Caputo, Jackie Taylor and Ariana Knowles.
Molly Rooney will perform solo as Flower Dew Drop.
(A grand total of 63 students will participate).
Mea Culpa Dept: In an article months ago, Aisle Say mentioned that Rie was from Tokyo. "No, No. NO!", she corrected me at the rehearsal. "Not Tokyo! I am from Tochigi!". Good. I have made the correction. Now I am allowed to come to the performance!
Amazing Fact: Certainly no slight at the FSBT professionals who performed in 1998's NUTCRACKER, but 10 yr old son Grant Firestone starred as Fritz, receiving beaucoup Standing O encores. See fuzzy picture above. Fritz's mother was Mary Jane Issacs and Father was Robert Grenfell.
December 21-22 The Grand 302.652.5577