CALUMET - The timeless classic "The Nutcracker Ballet" will be brought to life by the Superior School of Dance this weekend.
Former and current students of the school will combine forces to perform the ballet at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Calumet Theatre. The featured performers have been rehearsing every weekend since September and all this week on the full-length, two-act ballet.
"It's a lot of hard work and a lot of commitment," said Karmyn Polakowski of Houghton, who plays the Snow Queen and has been with the Superior School of Dance for nearly 11 years.
Zach Kukkonen/Daily Mining Gazette
Performers with the Superior School of Dance rehearse “The Nutcracker Ballet” Tuesday at the Calumet Theatre.
The well-known holiday ballet is choreographed and directed by Donna Armistead, coordinator of the pre-professional ballet program.
"I'm excited about bringing this production back," Armistead said in a press release. "Even though I've staged this ballet many times, not to mention all the times I performed in it, there's always something new and different about the experience."
Gary Genson is one of the former students returning to perform. Genson, of Jacksonville, Fla., plays Herr Drosselmeyer and King of the Mice, and is excited for one scene in particular.
"I'm partial to the duel," Genson said. "We use real steel up here, and the Rat King is using a dagger and a rapier against the Nutcracker with his sword."
Another popular scene is the party scene, which is a lot of fun for the performers.
"I like the party scene because it reminds me of the holidays and watching ("The Nutcracker") growing up," said Danielle Drake-Flam of Hancock, who plays Clara and has been with the school for 11 years. "It feels like a party on stage."
Many of the dancers get numerous roles, like Seoyoung Hong of Chassell, who has a handful.
"I play a Harlequin doll, which is in the first act, a flower, a snowflake and a fairy," said Hong, who has been dancing since she was three and has been with the Superior School of Dance for three years.
Other performers in "The Nutcracker Ballet" include Ireland Ingram of Baraga as Coffee; Maria Sliva of Houghton as Columbine; Anna Daavettila of Houghton as Waltz of the Flowers soloists; Marissa Labyak of Hancock as the Toy Soldier; and Sylvia Schourek of Minnesota as the Sugarplum Fairy.
For tickets, call the Calumet Theatre Box Office at 337-2610.