The Colgate and Hamilton communities found the perfect relief for the building anticipation of the holiday season in the Colgate Ballet Company’s annual performance of The Nutcracker. Although it played the week before Thanksgiving vacation, there’s nothing like seeing this holiday classic to get one in the Christmas spirit! Everyone knows the story of The Nutcracker. Clara and her magically transformed Prince, their journey to the Kingdom of Sweets and Tchaikovsky’s music are such familiar holiday details to so many of us that the Colgate Ballet Company would have had only to play the scores, show a Christmas tree and maybe a ballerina or two to satisfy the audience’s Nutcracker craving. In true Colgate University fashion, though, the Colgate Ballet Company did much more than the bare minimum in recreating this timeless classic. Decorations included the inevitable Christmas tree, beautifully vibrant costumes and creative backdrops and lighting. The dancers themselves were graceful, elegant, precise and showed the payoff of hard work and dedication to the performance. It was really
something to see this other vein of Colgate’s performing arts scene, as it often seems that acting or a cappella receive most of the attention. There was no way better for the Colgate Ballet Company to claim the spotlight than with The Nutcracker, though. It is one of the most flattering performances a ballet company can put on, and it garnered a thoroughly positive response from the audience while advertising the company to the entire college and Hamilton community. Co-directed by juniors Emma Satchell and Michelle White, The Nutcracker was also made possible by choreographers Mai’a Cross, seniors Kate Drazen, Zoe Birnbaum, Kate Kelly, the helping hands of Gamma Phi Beta volunteering backstage and many other individuals who donated costume pieces, transportation, funding, advice and more. The Colgate Ballet Company also honored a handful of seniors at the end of the final Sunday matinee. The Nutcracker wasn’t just for the students in the Colgate Ballet Company. The two acts of this “story ballet” showcased, in addition to a generous number of Colgate students, the talents of a cast of younger Hamilton children. This guaranteed a larger community response to the production, and every performance had a healthy mix of Colgate and Hamilton viewers filling the audience. Having seen many productions of The Nutcracker in my lifetime, I
consider myself an at least adequate judge of its performance, and the Colgate Ballet Company should be very proud of their success. I cannot imagine the audience member
who came away from the performance disappointed or devoid of the Christmas spirit, because the show was the perfect kick-off to this next holiday season.
Contact Claire Aziz at