he Nutcracker Ballet has been a holiday tradition for families across the world since its premiere in St. Petersburg in 1892. Its score by Tchhaikovsky has become a classic and familiar melody in the dance world and society. This season, our DMA dancers worked hard to produce our rendition of the timeless classic.
Over the past week, dancers wrapped up practices, finalized the show in tech rehearsals, and on December 16th, presented our performances to friends, family, and the rest of our community. We talked with DMA Ballet Mistress Beth Netzly to hear about the DMA Nutcracker’s journey from rehearsal to performance.
The Nutcracker has become such universal and classic piece for studios everywhere to perform, and Beth described why. “It is the only ballet that is centered around a big holiday, so it has become a festive tradition for most studios and companies,” said Beth.
Since the beginning, ballet technique has been a priority in our studio. Through the spring recital and Nutcracker performance, ballet teachers help create opportunities of growth for our students. Ballet mistress Beth Netzly has always had a talent for bringing her visions for productions to life. Beginning in October, the weekly ballet technique classes integrated Nutcracker rehearsals into their practices.
“Rehearsals are about learning choreography and detailing the same piece,” said Beth, who has directed the Nutcracker as Ballet Mistress since the production’s DMA beginnings. “We also work on creating a character or performance quality.”
As such a classic show to perform, Beth has tried to structure our Nutcracker that both honors the original production, yet compliments our studio and dancers. “We have added onto our show each year so the choreography has grown and developed from year to year, as opposed to always repeating the same show. That being said, I have kept some of the original choreography similar or drawn from original variations,” said Beth.
During this demanding yet rewarding rehearsal process, our teachers offered advice and help to dancers. Beth gave advice fit for any professional dancers; “Take care of your body. Be present physically and mentally.” Our dancers dedicated their time and energy to their rehearsals for the months leading up to the show, and we are proud and grateful for their dedication.
“For me the best part of the production, is watching my students reap the benefits of their hard work and practice,” said Beth. “Seeing pieces that were once just an idea in my head come to life on stage and take form is amazing.”
We wish our dancers a happy holiday season, and hope they have a well-deserved, restful winter break!