by Terry Rogers
Traditionally, Diamond Dance Company annually performs The Nutcracker at local high schools and the performance has become a holiday tradition for many families. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aimee String, Director of the dance company, explained that they had difficulty finding a location for the ballet.
“Fortunately, several of our instructors have done choreography for theater productions at Possum Point Players,” String said. “We know the stage and theater and felt comfortable that even with some modifications to the show, we could still pull off a show that our dancers will be proud of.”
This year’s performance will be held December 18 through 20 at the Possum Point Players Theater, located at 441 Old Laurel Road in Georgetown. All audience members and dancers will be required to wear masks. Seating is extremely limited as well.
“The changes in recommendations and regulations this year have constantly kept us on our toes,” String said. “The safety of our dancers is our biggest priority. We sat down with our senior company members before auditions this year and told them that there was a very real possibility that we would start rehearsing for the show and it would never make it onto a stage. Every single dancer told us that they just wanted to dance and would take the risk.”
String explained that the artistic staff felt they needed to commit to being as flexible as possible and get the dancers on stage as soon as they could. Although the show will look a lot different this year, String and the other staff members felt it was important for the dancers as many dream of dancing in this ballet.
“We will perform for an audience of 50 parents each show,” String said. “We will practice social distancing backstage and in the audience. We will also continue to monitor changes made by the Department of Public Health and make further changes if necessary. Because we are limited in the number of tickets we can sell, we are looking into ways to livestream the performance.”
In addition to face coverings and social distancing, String stated that there were other changes necessary to present the ballet. The stage at Possum Point is smaller than at the local high schools which meant that adjustments needed to be made as far as choreography. In addition, the role of Clara will be performed by senior company members Zoe Lasher and Karsyn Bradley. The difficulty of the role has also been increased with Clara dancing more than when younger members of the dance company performed the role.
“We’ve also refreshed and changed some costumes,” String said. “Keep a look out for super adorable new ginger babies just to name my favorite costume. We could not be more grateful for Possum Point Players willingness to support our production this year. I know it seems like it’s just a show, but to our dancers this is their dream come true.”
String stated that information about livestreaming will be released through their Facebook page and on their website.