This weekend, I was lucky enough to attend a performance of The Nutcracker put on by Olympia’s own Ballet Northwest at the Washington Center for the Performance Arts. (Thank you Bonnie Finn for treating us to this wonderful holiday tradition!)
Ballet Northwest has been producing this show for over 30 years, always featuring local amateur dancers. Every year, it’s exciting to see the new generation of ballet students getting their chance in the spotlight, and this year was no different. Our community is home to many talented young performers. I was particularly impressed by this year’s Prince, Jacob Brein, and Sugar Plum Fairy, Monica Tsien. Brein has an impressive ability to execute jump after jump and lift after lift while maintaining consistent composure and grace. And Tsien’s perfectly elegant movements were mesmerizing, with her graceful poise during lifts being especially engaging. The athleticism of these young dancers is truly inspiring, and I commend them, their teachers, and their families for all their hard work and dedication.
While my six-year-old son had trouble sitting still, and kept asking if the mice were going to come back and fight again, I found the performance itself quite relaxing. I was enthralled with the beautiful colors and lights complimenting the choreography. The production was recently updated with two new set pieces, including the Kingdom of Snow scene, which is really a sparkling wonderland, complete with falling snow.
If you have a chance to enjoy this downtown Olympia tradition for yourself, please do get tickets as soon as possible. You’ll be in for a real visual treat, and you’ll feel great supporting your community’s up-and-coming artists.
Four performances remain on December 15, December 16, and December 17. You can buy tickets at washingtoncenter.org or call the box office at (360) 753-8586.