Three productions of 'The Nutcracker' locally

November 28, 1998

The NutcrackerBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

"The Nutcracker" is coming! "The Nutcracker" is coming! "The Nutcracker" is coming!

Tri-State audiences will have the opportunity to see three different productions of "The Nutcracker" this year - two ballets and one on roller skates.

It's as much a sign of the season as Christmas carols and jingle bells. Tchaikovsky's beautiful music, a little girl's dream, mice, soldiers and the Nutcracker himself will be on stage in Martinsburg, W.Va., at Apollo Civic Theatre and in Hagerstown at The Maryland Theatre and Family Skating Center.

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Nikki Coulter, a 17-year-old senior at Hedgesville High School, will dance the role of Clara for the fifth time in Martinsburg. She has been studying dance with Carolou Russell at West Virginia Youth Ballet for 12 years.


"I just love it," Nikki says of "The Nutcracker." She expects to be going off to college next year, so this will be her last performance as Clara.

"It's kind of sad. I know I'll cry," she says.

Ten-year-old Sarah Kornides of Boonsboro will dance the role of Clara for the second time with Potomac Classical Youth Ballet under the direction of Lauran Clowser. She's been dancing since she was 2.

In this Hagerstown production, members of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Mathers, will provide the music. The dancers will have two rehearsals with the musicians. Does that add an extra bit of tension? Sarah nods and grins.

"I just like overall how exciting it is and how exciting it is to dance in front of people," Sarah says.

A slightly different take on the traditional ballet will be performed on roller skates. Sondra Lavigne, 10, will skate the role of Clara in Antietam Skating Club's production at Family Skating Center.

Sondra, a Hagerstown resident, has been skating a little more than a year and hopes to do some competitive skating in February.

Her Clara costume is being shortened before the performance. In a recent preview, the Nutcracker, played by Patrick Orgler, who placed seventh at the National Roller Skating Competition in California this year, skated on her too-long skirt. The Nutcracker's skate bumped Sondra's head. Sondra said she cried through the rest of the dance but didn't stop skating.

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