Diamond Dance Company held their 13th annual performance of The Nutcracker Ballet this past weekend at the Milford Senior High School Auditorium. The public performances this year was held on Saturday and Sunday, December 4 and 5. As in years’ past the dance company also held two performances for area school children and senior citizens from near-by assisted living facilities on the Friday before the public performance.
The performance was led this year by Taylor Hogan, of Milford, dancing as Clara and Victoria Brown-O’Brien and Angela Zielen sharing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Nutcracker Ballet is the story of a small girl who experiences an adventure in a dream-like world at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve. Toys, ornaments and animals come alive as Clara attempts to rescue her nutcracker that was given to her as a Christmas present.
Ten-year-old Taylor Hogan danced the lead role of Clara for all four performances. It was her fifth year dancing in the Diamond Dance Company performance of the The Nutcracker and her fist time playing Clara.
“I’m nervous but very excited,” commented Taylor before Friday night’s performance. “The battle scene is my favorite part of the performance.”
Taylor has been practicing for the lead role since September and amazed the audience with her experience and dedication to dancing as Clara.
The role of the Sugar Plum Fairy was shared during this weekend’s performances by sixteen-year-old Tori Brown and seventeen-year-old Angela Zielen. This was Tori’s first year as the Sugar Plum Fairy and eleventh year performing The Nutcracker Ballet. Angela has performed the role for three years now and has danced the performance for 7 years.
“I am really excited about the performance, this it my favorite time of year,” stated Tori during the final dress rehearsal. “I am nervous but hopefully all of the energy I have will carry me through.”
Both girls have been dedicated to playing this role for years and have a combined eighteen years of dance experience.
“I am thrilled,” commented Angela. “All of my hard work will hopefully show through my performance. It will be bitter-sweet since this will be my last performance of The Nutcracker with Diamond Dance Company.”
The cast for this year’s performance numbered over 50 and included dancers from the original cast, as well as community members experienced in theater.
“I am so pleased,” commented organizer Susan Grant. “I don’t think I have words to describe it. I had individuals from other states telling me that this was the best performance they had ever seen. We had an awesome group of people working together to make sure this performance was done perfectly.”