Wasatch Dance to perform a classic for a cause
December 2, 2011
For nine years, the Wasatch Dance Center in Heber has presented a holiday benefit concert that raises funds for the Wasatch/Summit County Children’s Justice Center.
The past three years, the concert has been an all original production of "The Nutcracker."
"We had talked about doing ‘The Nutcracker’ for a long time and we felt like we were ready and dove into it," said Vibeke Bodeinsteiner, co-owner and ballet director of the Wasatch Dance Center. "We have a lot of serious dancers in our classes who have been involved in other ‘Nutcrackers’ and winter dance concerts.
"We’ve had four of our students cast as Clara in Ballet West’s ‘Nutcracker’ and a few kids in the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Spectacular, so we felt it was time for us to do our own," she said.
The Wasatch Dance Center will present its third annual performance of "The Nutcracker" on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Wasatch County High School at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Wasatch/Summit County Children’s Justice Center.
Bodeinsteiner said it was important the money raised during these performances still benefit the Justice Center.
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"We wanted to do this because the idea was for us to do something where our kids could help other kids," she said.
Still, there is no denying the effect performing a classical ballet has on the students of the Wasatch Dance Center, Bodeinsteiner said.
"’The Nutcracker’ makes them aware of the ballet tradition," she said. "They get to see ballet is handed down from one generation of dancers to other generations of dancers and it makes them more inspired to go and watch more ballet themselves, and it introduces boys to dance."
The choreography was done by the dance center’s staff Amy Martinez, Allison Russell and Rachael Dailey Goodwin.
"Heather Fryxell is directing the performance with me, so she’s also a big part of it," Bodeinsteiner said. "All the choreographers are on the same page and there is a good consistency to the production and we do incorporate some of our younger kids’ classes in small roles.
One of the scenes Bodeinsteiner is most proud of is the opening of the second act, which is performed by the dance therapy program students.
The dance therapy program is a free offering that partners students who have various developmental and physical challenges with advanced students.
"From there we have the traditional Spanish, Chinese, Mother Ginger and the Bon Bons, the Russian and the Arabian variations," Bodeinsteiner said.
In addition to introducing young audiences and dancers to classical ballet, the performance exposes children to classical music.
"The music makes people think of the holidays and they get familiar and start recognizing composers like Tchaikovsky," she said.
The Wasatch Dance Center will present "The Nutcracker," a benefit for the Wasatch/Summit County Children’s’ Justice Center, on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Wasatch County High School, 930 S. 500 East, in Heber. Admission is $7 at the door. For more information, visit http://www.wasatchdance.com.