By Kama Korvela
Many people know the story of The Nutcracker — a young girl named Clara meets a Nutcracker Prince who takes her on a dreamy journey that involves a Mouse King, a visit to the Land of Sweets and an encounter with the Sugar Plum Fairy. But one skating club is adding a twist to this traditional holiday tale.
The Louisville Skating Academy will present “Nutcracker on Ice” on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 at the Iceland Sports Complex in Louisville, Ky.
“This is the 11th year for the production,” Sarah Neal, the show’s artistic director, said. “It’s an exciting, abridged version of the ballet.”
The show serves as the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Christopher Elder, who will play the role of Arabian Coffee, feels his club’s version is unlike any other ice show.
“‘Nutcracker on Ice’ incorporates different facets of performance and entertainment, and it’s intertwined with the crisp, cool ice,” he said. “This creates an audience-friendly environment that will lift them out of their seats!”
There are some distinct differences between Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet and the club’s version of “Nutcracker on Ice,” Neal said.
“We perform the show in a theater in the round style, which makes it intimate for the audience,” she said. “Our production also features narration, which makes it more accessible to a variety of age groups.”
The audience also has the opportunity to interact with the cast. Elder, who is a nine-year cast member, believes its interactive elements will draw spectators into the performance.
“The interactive aspect of our production is definitely the main reason as why people should come to the show,” he said. “Throughout the production, different roles will interact with the audience, such as the maids sweeping at the audience’s feet or the chefs.”
Each year, changes and additions are made to the show and this year is no different.
“We will have more soloists this year, including the Sugar Plum Pixie, a role that’s not in the original ballet,” Neal said.
With all of the practice, preparation and time that goes into creating a show like “Nutcracker on Ice,” it’s all worth it, cast member Katherine Thacker said.
“’Nutcracker on Ice’ is an excellent show for a skating club to put on,” she said. “Not only is it a great fundraiser, but it really brings the club together.”
For more information on “Nutcracker on Ice,” please visit: http://skatelouisville.org/events/nutcracker-on-ice/index.html