The Nutcracker may have left the Arsht Center, but Marie and her Prince are just getting started on their magical journey! We now travel north to West Palm Beach for performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ at the Kravis Center, where corps de ballet dancer Leigh-Ann Esty will be capturing the magic on Instagram. Follow her on our feed #LeighMCBphotos to make the holidays last. Leigh-Ann shares why this beloved holiday tradition is so special to her below!
I’m so excited for the holiday season. Nutcracker means so much to me! It brings families together and really gets you in the holiday spirit. I’ve been performing in The Nutcracker since I was 7, so it’s been a huge part of my life! I love how happy it makes the audience.
Dreams of Sugar Plums have been dancing in the heads of ballerinas everywhere — and for many more nights than just the night be for Christmas;-) Whether it’s the moment a little girl puts on her first pair of ballet slippers, or sees the Sugar Plum Fairy work her magic onstage, a little spark ignites, fueling aspirations of one day dancing this quintessential ballerina role. This dream is swiftly becoming a reality for Soloists Sara Esty and Jennifer Lauren, as they make their debut performances as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™. Here, they share their excitement about performing this milestone role!
At eight years old, I performed as a polichinelle in my first Nutcracker and loved every minute of it! As I grew, I continued to perform in every Nutcracker and danced many different characters. The role of the Sugar Plum Fairy was always something I dreamed of dancing. It was the first principal ballerina role I had ever seen, and the only consistent role that came back each year. The first time I was cast to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy was with the Alabama Ballet. It was among the first principal roles I had danced. I was so in love with this role. The répétiteur for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, Darla Hoover, gave me my own special wand. I enjoyed dancing with it for six wonderful seasons. Fast forward to today, and for the first time in six years at Miami City Ballet, I am dancing the role that I have loved since I was a wide-eyed little polichinelle! The familiarity of this role brings happy memories of all the amazing Nutcrackers I have attended and performed. I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with Lourdes Lopez and Kleber Rebello as my Cavalier. Lourdes has been encouraging and insightful in our rehearsals and the wealth of knowledge she has for this role inspires me. I can’t wait to perform the Sugar Plum Fairy with Miami City Ballet and create new memories with my wand!
Jennifer Lauren as the Sugar Plum Fairy with Alabama Ballet.
As I write, I am watching a few of my friends in New York City ballet do the kids show of The Nutcracker. I’m in Lincoln Center and am reminded of how magical the show can be… There are so many happy children here! I can’t believe I am getting the chance to perform Sugar Plum this year. I have danced it just once before in my career (at home when I was a senior in high school), so I am very much looking forward to giving it another go with Miami City Ballet. It is one of the many coveted Balanchine roles, and to be able to have reached this goal is an amazing feeling. She is the quintessential ballerina, and queen of the land of sweets – who wouldn’t want to be her? Hopefully I will inspire the little girls around me, as the Sugar Plum Fairies did when I was growing up!
Sara Esty rehearsing the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux with her Cavalier Jovani Furlan.
While most of you are digging your nose deep into cookbooks and fighting the crowds at the local grocery store, we are preparing for Thanksgiving with rehearsals of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™!This weekend, we head to Naples for our first Nutcracker performance of the season!Dancer Rebecca King will be capturing the magic of this holiday classic on our Instagram feed and shares how The Nutcracker has become an annual Thanksgiving tradition in its own right below. Follow Rebecca #RebeccaMCBphotos!
We have heard that in the rest of the country the seasons are changing. Yet, here in Miami, the only thing we have noticed is a slight drop in the humidity. (We are really roughing it here in the tropics). So, for Miami City Ballet dancers, the truest indicator of the change in seasons is performing The Nutcracker in Naples. For the past seven years that I have been with MCB, Thanksgiving and Naples have always gone hand-in-hand. Most years we spend Thanksgiving together on the gulf coast in anticipation of the Nutcracker’s kickoff the next day. Being together for Thanksgiving is something that has become a tradition for all of us — creating wonderful memories of spending a very special holiday together as a family.
Nutcracker casting is up on the board in the studios, we are packing our theater cases, and drawing names for Secret Santa — the holidays are officially here in Miami.
MCB Thanksgiving 2012 in Naples!
Experience the magic of the The Nutcracker at any of our home venues located in South Florida! GET TICKETS NOW!
Adrienne Arsht Center: December 19-24
Kravis Center: December 27-30
Broward Center: January 3-5