‘Nutracker’ charms audiences again; North Ballet students have bigger roles in 4th year

Natalie Belz, of Elk River, was lead dancer in “Waltz of the Snowflakes.” (Photo by Missy Cochran)

Natalie Belz, of Elk River, was lead dancer in “Waltz of the Snowflakes.” (Photo by Missy Cochran)

 

by Bruce Strand, Arts Editor

The fourth annual performance of “The Nutcracker,” by North Ballet Youth Company of Rogers, was well-received by large audiences at Zabee Theatre in two productions last Saturday. The director was Breanna Dvorak, artistic director for North Ballet.

The lead role of Clara was performed, en pointe (a first for North Ballet’s production) by Elise Jones, 11, of Brooklyn Park, who aspires to become a professional ballet artist. She studied at the Vaganova school on the West Coast while her family vacationed in Washington.

Lead dancer in the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” was Natalie Belz, 14, of Elk River, who, in 4 1/2 years at North Ballet, has become one of the school’s highest-ability students, studying under Kim Norberg (former director) and Dvorak. Belz was accepted into the prestigious Harid Conservatory’s summer ballet intensive this summer. She aspires to become a professional ballet artist.

The Nutcracker Prince role was played for the first time by a North Ballet student, Jacob Walters, 13, of Coon Rapids. Guest professionals were Christopher Sellars and Arolyn Williams of Ballet West in Utah. The Godfather Drosselmeyer was played for the second time by Luke Tucker, a professional ballet artist and current faculty instructor at North Ballet.

Guest singers for the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” were North Star Boys Choir for the 1 p.m. show and Rogers High School Jazz Choir at the 4:30 p.m. show.

Dancing with the Nutcracker in the party scene are Clara (Elise Jones) and Godfather Drosselmeyer (Luke Tucker). (Photo by Missy Cochran)

Dancing with the Nutcracker in the party scene are Clara (Elise Jones) and Godfather Drosselmeyer (Luke Tucker). (Photo by Missy Cochran)

Dancing for Nutcracker Prince (Jacob Walters) and Clara (Elise Jones) in the Land of the Sweets were Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier (Arolyn Williams and Christopher Sellars). (Photo by Missy Cochran)

Dancing for Nutcracker Prince (Jacob Walters) and Clara (Elise Jones) in the Land of the Sweets were Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier (Arolyn Williams and Christopher Sellars). (Photo by Missy Cochran)

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