This will be the second time I'm writing about the Nutcracker Ballet in St. Augustine. What the heck, I love the Nutcracker. So here goes...
Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people. One tradition many love is the Christmas ballet called The Nutcracker. It's played in any number of cities throughout the US over the holidays, but it was missing in St. Augustine until seven years ago.
The Nutcracker is in its seventh year at the Lewis Auditorium and Abella's School of Dance is a big part of it. Indeed, it is the brainchild of the dance studio's owner, Luis Abella. "There was no Nutcracker [in St. Augustine] when we started," said Abella. The lack of the tradition bothered him. "And the only way you can keep these kind of classical stories and classical ballet going is to have a company, to have people willing to do it." He would like the Nutcracker to always be performed in St. Augustine. "One of these days we're going to have to retire. And if we do it right, some of these kids are going to want to do it. The only way we can keep something good...is to remember the traditions. All these things are traditional things...and I think that's the key. There's a lot of grandmoms bringing people here, that means the tradition was there one day...and they're coming back. And maybe we shore that bridge."
Children at Abella's school are busy rehearsing for the ballet. Rob O'Leary, the scenic and lightning director for the show, says his favorite part of the show is watching the dancers mature. "It's fun to watch the students sort of grow through the piece...You watch all these kids that could barely hold a candle come out on stage and now they're dancing beautifully and playing a bigger part. So watching people graduate up through roles is a pretty awesome part of training," O'Leary said.
Abella and O'Leary have worked on professional productions around the nation and those experiences help shape the show.
The St. Augustine Ballet presents "The Nutcracker" at 2 P.M. and 7:30 P.M. December 19 and 20th, 2015 at the Lewis Auditorium, 14 Granada St. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for Seniors over 65 and children under 12. For information call 855-222-2849 or go to saintaugustineballet.com
Want some timeless St. Augustine home decor to suit your local interests? See Medici Lion Statuettes modeled after the lions on the Bridge of Lions!