Bethany Giurlani, 20, went to her first performance of the Pinkerton Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” ballet when she 2 years old.
The next year, she danced in it. This performance will mark her 17th year on “The Nutcracker” stage, dancing in the Spanish Pas De Deux number.
“It’s just a really great way to start off the holiday season, performing for friends and family,” Giurlani said. “This cast really acts as a family. That’s one of the reasons I keep coming back.” The 26th annual performance will run Thanksgiving weekend at the Bob Boldrick Theater in the Carson City Community Center. Admission is $22, and $18 for students and seniors.
The ballet follows Clara through a Christmas dream of a Nutcracker prince and a mighty battle against a mouse king. At midnight, Clara begins to shrink as the toys and trees around her come to life.
After the battle, the Nutcracker turns into a prince and takes Clara on a journey through the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. Each scene makes for colorful fantasy of Clara’s dream.
Rebekah Swearingen, 14, plays the ballerina doll as well as other roles in the journey through Clara’s dream.
“It’s such a wide variety of different ballet styles,” she said. “You can really play with your dancing skills and acting skills.”
As is tradition, this year’s Mother Gigogne — characterized by the several children who come tumbling out of her larger-than-life skirt — will be played by men who are leaders in the community.
Sheriff Ken Furlong, Assessor Dave Dawley and School Superintendent Richard Stokes will reprise the role this year.
Alex Gumm, 18, will play the Nutcracker two nights. The third performance will be played by a professional dancer. “It’s a great experience because you get to watch the professionals,” Gumm said. “And he’s helped me a lot with structure and technique and partnering skills. He gives me a lot of good tips.”
Kate Frels, 16, has danced in “The Nutcracker” since she was 5. But when she moved to Carson City two years ago, she feared she might have to give it up.
“It felt weird not to be doing it,” she said. “When I found out about this production, it just seemed right.”