Bonedale Ballet presents ‘Nutcracker’ excerpts in fall performance | AspenTimes.com

Bonedale Ballet presents ‘Nutcracker’ excerpts in fall performance

Jessica Cabe
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Like most dancers, Anthony and Alexandra Jerkunica, the founders and directors of Coredination and Bonedale Ballet in Carbondale, have been dancing in "The Nutcracker" for as long as they've been dancing at all. Now, for the first time, they're presenting excerpts from the beloved ballet in their fall performance, "Dance Celebrations and Nutcracker Variations."

"We got the idea because we just love 'The Nutcracker,'" Anthony said. "We decided to create something with the resources we have in terms of dancers. We have 4-year-olds all the way up to 74. We have costumes that are done from one mother; she's a seamstress. It's all just a homespun, grassroots endeavor. That's going to be half of the show, and the other is our mixed repertory."

The performance will start with a few mixed repertory pieces, including examples of classical ballet and tap performed by young children and more advanced adults.

"Then we have a little pause, and then we go into our 'Nutcracker' highlights," Alexandra said.

Those highlights include the doll solo, the Spanish solo, the Arabian duet, Chinese with a group of 4-year-olds and an unconventional modern piece choreographed to "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

Anthony said the young dancers might be the highlights of the performance.

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"It's the best group I've ever had for that age group," Anthony said of the 4-year-olds. "They learned it really quickly, they're focused, they have a good time, they don't want to leave once they're here, they have really great costumes. I think in a way that's going to be the show-stopper."

The Jerkunicas both said offering performance opportunities to their students has always been important to them as teachers.

"It's such a big part of helping develop the dancer, whether they're interested in going professional or not," Alexandra said.

"It completes the learning process and the progression that happens in a dancer. You have them coming and training weekly at various levels and it provides them an opportunity to share what they've been learning, but also to have time on stage to express their joy — hopefully joy and that they're not too scared to be on stage. But really just to be able to show their friends, family, their teachers also. It's like a way of them showing us what they've learned in the last six months or so. When you're on stage versus a rehearsal space, you do give something very different from inside out," she said.

Alexandra said she's excited to see how the community receives their "Nutcracker" excerpts, and she hopes in the future the studio will be able to stage the full ballet.

"We hope in the future that we can offer the entire show," she said. "We'd love to be able to do the entire 'Nutcracker' ballet. This is kind of the beginning of what's to come."

Whether they stage the entire ballet or not, Anthony said he hopes incorporating "The Nutcracker" in Bonedale Ballet's performance becomes an annual tradition for the studio.

"It's something we had so much fun doing growing up; it's a tradition, and it brings all these people together of different ages," he said. "You never know where the arrow's going to land once you shoot it, but if you don't draw the bow, you won't know."

IF YOU GO…

Who: Bonedale Ballet and Coredination

What: Dance Celebrations & Nutcracker Variations

When: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday

Where: Carbondale Middle School auditorium

How much: $15 for adults, $10 for students (10-17), $5 for kids (9 and younger). Cash or check only.