…and visions of sugar plums danced in their heads…

…and visions of sugar plums danced in their heads…
December 14, 2014 W. Celeste Davis Stragand
Doina Florea as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Kevin Burke as the Cavalier. Image courtesy of Ballet Ariel.

Doina Florea as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Kevin Burke as the Cavalier. Image courtesy of Ballet Ariel.

The Lakewood Cultural Center was a buzz with activity last night preceding and following Ballet Ariel’s 7p performance of The Nutcracker.  Children, grandparents, parents and friends of dancers responded heartily to the dancers throughout the evening. 

With modest set design, the music on the loud speakers filled the room and the costumes were a sparkle. Ballet Ariel is not only a professional dance company but also a school. With this spread of ages and skill, the stage filled during the opening scenes and both Clara and Fritz had senior and junior guests. In addition, upon meeting the Mouse King, we also met mouse babies. These entrances and exits tickled the audience with the toddlers scurrying about.

The true talent of the evening displayed upon the entrance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Jennifer Kuhn. Her grace and en pointe work was a notable highlight.  Chelsea Cusack as Arabian soloist, Samantha Harmon as Chinese soloist and Ariel Gilliam as Russian soloist also mesmerized with their grace and fluid precision – not mention the use of props by the later two.

Ballet Ariel’s intermingling of company dancers with students was enjoyable. Their philosophy is to “inspire our students to continue ballet training to the advanced level, and our students are graduating from our school and dancing in our professional company.”

Ready to infuse your soul with Christmas? Want to see figures of sugar plum fairies dance in your heads and relish in the sounds of family and friends cheering on loved ones as they twirl and leap upon the stage?  Well, then, go see Ballet Ariel’s The Nutcracker next weekend.  Tickets available here: http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?organ_val=38629&pid=7844245


W. Celeste Davis Stragand:  Published author, showcased artist and local Denverite, W. Celeste Davis Stragand is not new to the art world. Her passion for delving into the root of existence and movement will challenge and praise both choreographers and the audience.  A graduate of Texas A&M University, Celeste holds two bachelor of arts degrees, one in Chemistry and the other in English. She is also a graduate of Naropa University holding a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing and Poetics from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. A former national slam team poet, Celeste is a graduate of the Downtown Denver Partnership Leadership Program and sits on the American Institute of Architects Colorado board.  Her passion and enthusiasm for the kinetic arts will frolic and frenzy through the upcoming season of performances with many hopes for an encore!

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