Tyler Junior College’s 32nd annual holiday presentation of Tchaikovsky’s classic ‘Nutcracker’ ballet will still go on, albeit in a different format from years past.
“‘The Nutcracker’ is something our students, their families and the community look forward to each holiday season,” said Carolyn Hanna, TJC dance department chair and director of the TJC Academy of Dance. “It’s special to many of our East Texas audience members; so, to thank them for their enduring support through this difficult year, we felt strongly about finding a creative but careful way for the show to continue.”
Beginning Friday, Dec. 4, the entire production will be available for online viewing at TJC.edu/Nutcracker, and a one-time fee of $15 will allow for unlimited views throughout the month of December.
Claire Glidewell, an alumna of the TJC Academy of Dance and Southern Methodist University, performs in a previous TJC “Nutcracker” production.
Act I is a rebroadcast of last year’s live production, but Act II is a compilation of videotaped performances by this year’s students.
“Working in small, separated groups, each of our Academy of Dance classes rehearsed a specific musical number in their own, safe ‘bubble,’ having no contact with other classes,” Hanna said.
Act II cast members, listed by musical number, include:
• Snow Queen: Lydia Middleton
• Snowflakes: Bella Burton, Jessica Carmona, Mackenzie Copfer, Faith Craig, Karsyn Cunningham, Lisa Genovese, Regan Hamby, Zoe Grace Mazzaré, Allie Phillips, Layla Sullivan, Joslyn Swinney-Dewberry, Elexis Wiebe
• Saint Lucias: Alexandria Anderson, Genevieve Belzer, Qwynnen Davis, Harmony Hooks, Maddison Nehls, Ainsley Pierce, Ellie Smith, Kameron Spencer, Charlotte Stuebing
• Spanish: Aleigha Bailiff, Kathryn Beard, Katie Becerra, Carmen Bravo, Layla Brown, Caleigh Duquette, Cheyenne Fink, Isabella Garcia, Hannah Hughes, Kaylee Lesniewski, Mariana Ortiz, Addison Petty, Zia Pitts, Lyla Roycroft, Sydney Sharp, Summer Strom, Brynn Wilder
• Chinese: Carmen Bravo, Layla Brown, Caleigh Duquette, Isabella Garcia, Audrey Lassanske, Mariana Ortiz, Addison Petty, Lyla Roycroft, Sydney Sharp, Brynn Wilder
• Marzipan: Ellis Ann Ashwood, Claira Barfield, Claire Foreman, Annabelle Langford, Ann Marie Mayfield, Cheyenne McCracken, Delia Nava, Emily Schneider, Leah Soto, Camila Torres
• Lead Arabian: Elexis Wiebe
• Arabian: Jessica Carmona, Mackenzie Copfer, Faith Craig, Karsyn Cunningham, Lisa Genovese, Regan Hamby, Audrey Lassanske, Zoe Grace Mazzaré, Lydia Middleton, Layla Sullivan, Joslyn Swinney-Dewberry
• Russian: Aleigha Bailiff, Jenna Broyles, Molly Cannon, Madeline Chilek, Cheyenne Fink, Stella Franks, Melody Hooks, Hannah Hughes, Felicia Jarrett, Mackenzie Lee, Kaylee Lesniewski, Kendall Merrick, Ainsley Rhodus, Theia Rodriguez, Audrey Scaborough, Ann Stokeld, Yadhira Tavera, Carmen Taylor, Brooklyn Thomas, Ava Wamboldt
• Polichinelle: Reagan Cannon, Jaclyn Duty, Vivienne Elliott, Emi Gamez, Lillian Gardiner, Caroline Lesniewski, Avery Mallett, Nalani Mata, Abigail Meads, Evelyn Noteware, Ryleigh Roxburgh, Tenley Smiley, Andrea Velez, Emily Wynn
• Dew Drop: Zoe Grace Mazzaré
• Waltz: Bella Burton, Jessica Carmona, Mackenzie Copfer, Faith Craig, Karsyn Cunningham, Mariana Ortiz, Lisa Genovese, Regan Hamby, Sarah Fisher, Lydia Middleton, Allie Phillips, Layla Sullivan, Joslyn Swinney-Dewberry, Elexis Wiebe
• Sugar Plum: Mackenzie Copfer
Maddison Nehls performs in TJC’s 2020 production of “The Nutcracker” ballet.
Choreographers were Hanna and Shurrell Wiebe, TJC dance professor and academy pre-professional program director; and rehearsal assistants were Thereza Bryce-Cotes, academy ballet mistress and adjunct ballet professor, and Kristi Franks, TJC dance professor.
With TJC’s Wise Auditorium temporarily unavailable due to the Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center construction project, Tyler Legacy High School provided use of the school’s theater; and, over a few days in November, each class was brought in separately to record their performances.
“Local videographer and TJC communications alumnus Gerardo Morales did a great job shooting and editing the video,” Hanna said. “It all went incredibly smoothly, and we’re very happy with the result.”
She continued, “Even though it wasn’t our usual way of rehearsing and performing — and we can’t wait to resume live shows next year in our new performing arts center — this was a great experience for our students and faculty. It provided a much-needed sense of normalcy in a year that has been anything but normal.”