Lo-Ru West to present The Nutcracker
Published: Thursday, February 6th, 2014
On Feb. 8, Custer area lovers of story, dance, theatre and music will be able to enjoy their favorite genre combined in the perennial classical favorite, Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet.
The ballet, featuring a fantasy world of childhood fairy-tale dreams and a young girl’s awakening to love, premiered in December 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and remains one of the most popular ballets of all time. It will be performed at 7 p.m. at the Custer High School theatre.
The Nutcracker will be featured in two acts and is choreographed and directed by Robin Prior, owner of Lo-Ru West Dance Studio of Custer. It showcases the hard work and talents of 30 students of the studio, including one adult. The students range in age from 4 to those in their teens.
“What makes this production unique,” says Prior, “is that not only does performing on stage provide exposure and classical ballet training for the dancers, it also teaches them about life lessons…things that they will use for the rest of their lives.
“This a chance for the students to show what they have learned, plus they also have the chance to learn about what it means to get involved, to work together, to develop a work ethic and to build the determination to go on….things that will benefit them in their future.”
With the range in age of her students, Prior has adjusted the choreography, enabling her students to excel “at their level,” she says.
The students involved in the production are Abby Studt, Anna Lewis, Ashlyn Snyder, Dakota Reese Prior, Darian Block, Elizabeth Erwin, Ella Allen, Ember Fluck, Emma Zaic, Faun Hansen, Grace Lewis, Haley Foster, Halle Karna, Hannah Pinkerton, Holly Nielsen, Jacie Behlings, Jordyn Clevenger, Kendall Ashmore, Kori Teasley, Kirsten Halbert, Kylee Ellerton, McKenna Allen, Rachel Brunner, Racheal Cheeseman, River Bailey, Rosalina Arp, Sarah Powers, Susie Weber, Tali Jones and Willow Williamson.
This will be the first time some students will perform in front of an audience, on stage and with lights. Prior is especially excited about “The Nutcracker’s” opportunity to exhibit the “talent and potential that these kids have,” adding that some of her advanced students have gone onto performing at the college level.
“While they are very young and have years ahead of them, they have a good jump in moving ahead to achieve scholarships and then to move on into the dance industry,” she says.
In addition to the talent of her students, Prior credits the success of the production to all the parents of her students and to those assisting with the production, including high school art teacher, Susan Bowen, who is creating the backdrop for the performance; Roslyn Fairbanks (whose daughter Willow is in the performance) for her assistance with lighting and sound; Sandi Mooney, costume mistress, who, together with Prior, is creating between 50-100 garments for the 25 dancers who have costume changes; Bob and Faith Chrisman (whose daughter Emma dances the role of Clara) for their assistance in greeting attendees at the door; and Prior’s husband, Jeff.
For more information about the performance, contact Prior at 440-0391, Lo-Ru West studio website at lo-
ruwestdance.com or the Custer Area Arts Council’s website, custerareaarts.com
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