Calvin Royal III, right, and Kathryn Boren from the American Ballet Theatre will be guest artists in River City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.”
BY HAP MANSFIELD
The River City Ballet (RCB) will present its traditional holiday performance of “The Nutcracker” Dec. 18-19 at the San Marcos High School Performing Arts Center with guest artists from the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT).
Kathryn Boren from ABT will dance the part of the Snow Queen and ABT’s Calvin Royal III will dance the part of the Snow King. The production also will have some exciting inclusions.
“In addition to ‘The Nutcracker,’ this holiday season’s show will feature an original contemporary work, ‘Ave Maria,’ and a short documentary film about River City Ballet by award-winning director Stan von Miller of Terlingua Films,” said RCB Assistant Director Caitlin Kelly.
The performance will be a reunion of sorts for Boren, who is a former student of RCB’s Artistic Director Keith Duncan. Boren was awarded a full scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis School at ABT in 2007 and was a Bender Foundation Scholar in 2008. Boren joined the company at American Ballet Theatre II in 2009 and has since been promoted to its premier company.
Royal III joined American Ballet Theatre II in December 2007 and has danced several leading roles, including Prince Siegfried in “The White Swan,” along with parts in George Balanchine’s “Allegro Brillante,” Jerome Robbins’ “Interplay” and Antony Tudor’s “Continuo.” He has also performed in works by Edward Liaang, Aszure Barton, Jodie Gates, and Brian Reeder. He was promoted to ABT in 2010.
Aaron Smyth, whom many will recall as RCB’s male lead in “The Nutcracker” in 2009, cannot be included in this year’s performance because he will perform on television in the show “Australia’s Got Talent.” Smyth won a silver medal in what is considered the Olympics of world ballet in the International Ballet Competition in the summer of 2010.
Said RCB’s Duncan, ““I am thrilled that Kathryn Boren and Aaron Smyth have had such great success in the past year. We are also pleased to have a dancer of Calvin Royal III’s caliber for our upcoming Nutcracker.”
“The Nutcracker” is based on one of the incredibly fanciful, some might say weird, stories of E.T.A. Hoffman. Hoffman’s stories have always made for extraordinary dance theater. The ballet “Coppelia” also is based on Hoffman stories.
“The Nutcracker” ballet tells the story of Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and involves the coming to life of a Christmas toy (the nutcracker) and a battle with an evil mouse king and a whimsical land of toy dolls.
The music is possibly Tchaikovsky’s most beloved work, and “The Nutcracker” is one of the most popular ballets in the world.
Tickets for the performance are $15 and are available online at www.RiverCityBallet.org or by calling (512) 396-8737.
The youth ballet company of Central Texas, RCB is based in San Marcos and features several shows each year, including the charming spring show, Graduation Ball. Many of the students at RCB receive scholarships and invitations to attend the most prestigious ballet workshops in the world.
Dance students for RCB are selected by audition in the late spring. Students wishing to study with Duncan and Kelley may call (512) 396-8734.
On a side note, RCB’s Ravelle Dundon, a 10-year-old dance student, recently sent a letter to Alistair Macaulay, the dance critic at The New York Times. Mcaulay often makes a pilgrimage to see “The Nutcracker” danced in various states throughout the country. He mentioned Dundon in his column and it is hoped he may be able to attend a performance in the future. Dundon told him she would buy him a ticket with her allowance money. She is dancing a Polichinelle in this year’s Nutcracker performance.
You can see the mention of RCB in his column in the New York Times by visiting artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/the-nutcracker-chronicles-where-the-coyotes-dance-and-the-bats-roam/.
Kathryn Boren from the American Ballet Theatre will dance the part of the Snow Queen in River City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.”