|More than just a show|
This Nutcracker is rooted in community
When the International Academy of Dance presents The Nutcracker this month at Cabrillo College, the principal dancer for the Miami City Ballet will take on the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. But unlike most imported leads, Tricia Albertson is coming home.
“Tricia recently returned from a tour with Miami City Ballet. In France, at their final performance, the audience gave a standing ovation with unending applause,” says Vicki Bergland, teacher and choreographer at the Academy. “That is how I feel to have her back in Santa Cruz—unending applause..”
Albertson grew up in Santa Cruz and began dancing at age 4. Her teacher? Vicki Bergland, who remained Tricia’s teacher until she left for New York City to dance at the School of American Ballet at age fifteen.
Now, Albertson returns to Santa Cruz to dance in International Academy of Dance’s production of The Nutcracker. It is a beautiful reunion for them, and a lovely homecoming for Tricia.
But the local connections to the larger world of dance don’t stop there.
Shannon Chipman, the owner, director and ballet teacher at the International Academy of Dance, is another of the choreographers of this year’s Nutcracker. Shannon also grew up in Santa Cruz, studying ballet here until she went to New York City, one of the few dancers accepted to the prestigious Julliard School.
Chipman will perform the role of the Dew Drop Fairy along with Corinne Sampson, 17, one of Chipman’s first students.
Another one of the teachers at the Academy and a choreographer of this year’s Nutcracker, Melanie Useldinger, taught Shannon before Shannon left for New York, and her first ballet teacher, Diana Rose, will perform in Act One in the Party Scene.
Melanie Useldinger, Vicki Bergland and Shannon Chipman have been working together in Santa Cruz for over twenty years. They danced together in the first Nutcracker in Santa Cruz County in 1988, with performances at Cabrillo’s old theater. International Academy of Dance will bring the Nutcracker full circle, back to Cabrillo’s new stage, with exciting choreography, beautiful costumes, lovely dancing, new talent, and old friends.
“This only could have happened because the community has gotten behind it,” explains Melanie Useldinger. “We’ve had dancers of all ages participate from throughout the county, extremely talented seamstresses donating their time for the costumes, and local artists painting the scenery. There is nothing more beautiful than the community giving their time to the arts, to support a creative endeavor together.”
“We are thrilled to present Nutcracker in this wonderful theater with such talent and artistry,” says Chipman. “It is exciting to see the growth each year in the production and the dancers. I am so fortunate to work alongside some of my favorite instructors as a child and now at the Academy.”
“While I appreciate the end result—a spectacular, high-quality performance— the real beauty is the wonderful community that grows behind the stage,” says Rena Dubin, mother of Aliya Glatt, 8, who will play a Little Soldier and a Lead Gingersnap. “The older girls, en pointe, are so sweet and loving towards my daughter, one of the younger dancers. She, in turn, is so encouraging with the pre-ballet children. And all of them look up to Tricia, who receives their adoration with grace.”
“I feel so happy to see a former student give back to her hometown, and inspire a new generation of dancers,” says Vicki Bergland. “The circle is completed.”
International Academy of Dance Presents: The Nutcracker
Crocker Theater at Cabrillo College
Thanksgiving weekend, November 26th and 27th, 2 shows each day at 1 and 4 pm.
Tickets available from $15 at IADance.com and at the door.
Choreography by: Vicki Bergland, Shannon Chipman, Melissa Palumbo, and Melanie Useldinger
Dancers include: Principals from the Miami City Ballet, Tricia Albertson and Didier Bramaz, alongside Company members from International Academy of Dance, students of the Academy and local dance artists within the Santa Cruz community.
Tricia Albertson and Didier Bramaz, photographed by Bari Miller.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 28 November 2011 11:50 )|