Another Year of Success for The Nutcracker

By Sasha Wai and Shelby Berger

On November 16 and 17, friends and family gathered in the Olson Theater to cheer on and support the dance program at Flint Hill through an enchanting performance of The Nutcracker.  The Nutcracker is one of the most well-known performances Flint Hill puts on every year, showcasing dancers from JK-12 and members of the faculty. Instead of having a large set that would potentially distract from the dancers, the stage was kept simple with only one or two pieces to indicate the setting.

The preparation for the performance required rehearsals on weekends and during some classes. The work started at the beginning of the year, and while it was difficult at times, the dancers felt it paid off.

“Learning the dances and cleaning the dances was a bit difficult but I think it went really well,” said freshman Peyton Murphy, who appeared in the Friends, Snow, and Marzipan assemble.

“I guess the only really difficult thing was the set changes,” agreed junior Jacqueline Krause, who danced as the Maid and in the Corps de Ballet ensemble. “The Christmas tree fell during the matinee, and we forgot the couch sometimes… I think it went well though.”

The dancers also noted how the performance brought them together, and the close bond they formed as a result.

“We have a good group, everyone is really close,” said senior Carolyn Cameron. Cameron was featured as Clara, who remained on stage for the majority of the performance and observed the dancers around her.  

“It was really fun, I got to know the people in the groups a lot better–we spent a lot of time together,” said freshman Ila Larrazabal, who appeared in Snow.

The performance also featured choreography from dance students, who were eager to express their creative abilities:

“My favorite part of the Nutcracker this year was the opportunity to choreograph as a Topics in Dance Honors student,” explained senior Claudia Wood. “My piece was Arabian, or Coffee, so it was a great experience to go through the creative processes that the teachers go through to make an entertaining performance.”

Though there was a relatively good turnout, many members of the community have been trying to get more participation in arts-related events at Flint Hill. When asked why people should come to support the arts at Flint Hill, members of this year’s Nutcracker had much to say.

“Everyone should support the arts! A lot of people come to support sports and the same amount of effort goes into it. But if you missed Nutcracker then you better not miss George Mason because that’s the best,” said Cameron, referring to Arts Jam, the school’s annual showcase of performing arts programs held at George Mason University.

“This show is a great example of how important the art and fine art programs are at Flint Hill,” said Wood. “Not only did we have dancers from all ages performing, but students in orchestra were in the accompaniment, students in the digital arts class designed our promotional posters, students in the theatre department ran tech, and our amazing faculty choreographed, designed, constructed, promoted, performed, supported, and enjoyed another great year of the Nutcracker.”

“All types of artistic performance, whether it’s visual, dramatic, or active, require so much skill and dedication,” agreed History teacher Mr. Robert Horne, who played the role of Herr Drosselmeir. “It’s important to see other people in different lights, and it’s inspiring to see people tap into their different talents.”

The hard work of the directors, dancers, and members of the crew paid off to create another incredible and captivating performance of The Nutcracker. Mr. Robert Horne praised directors Mrs. Jenelle Myrkalow and Mrs. Kasey Lynn for their dedication and attention to detail, and members of the audience praised the dancers for a memorable performance:

“I’m consistently amazed at how Coach Myrkalow and Coach Lynn are able to orchestrate such an impressive assortment of performers and create such a beautiful end product,” said Horne. “The end product is something that is really impressive to watch–the theatrical talents of the adults and students all comes together in a beautiful production.”

“It was great to see students come together to perform The Nutcracker, and the costumes were really beautiful,” said freshman Elisabeth Louden.

“It was very good,” said freshman Sama Monjazeb.

Congrats to the cast and crew for putting on another amazing show!