A! Magazine for the Arts

A scene from "The Nutcracker" by Highlands Ballet.

A scene from "The Nutcracker" by Highlands Ballet.

Highlands Ballet Company presents a family tradition ... The Nutcracker

November 26, 2019

Highlands Ballet Company brings the timeless tradition of “The Nutcracker” to life on the stage of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts, Emory & Henry College on Dec. 14 & 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Under the direction of the mother/ daughter team, Deanna Cole-Roberts and Deirdre Cole, dancers from HBC take to the stage and bring this classic to life.

All 40 young HBC dancers gracing the stage during this season’s performance have been trained at HBC, including the Nutcracker Prince. “The dedication and grit of these young dancers is evident in their expression of each of the Nutcracker characters they bring to life across the stage in graceful performance,” Cole-Roberts says.

In addition to the dancers of Highlands Ballet Company, Marcos and Angel Castellano, two of identical triplets known throughout the world as “The Triplett Cuban Dancers,” return to share the stage with HBC this holiday season. Although professionals at one of the world’s finest companies, The Cuban National Ballet, the triplets’ dream was to move to Philadelphia and study at the Rock School for Dance Education, where they are studying to refine their technique. Marcos and Angel share their strength and power with the HBC family in their characterizations of the Nutcracker’s traditional characters as the Sugar Plum Fairy Cavalier, Snow Cavalier and Arabian Prince.

HBC welcomes back to the stage, Ryan Cook, a native of Cleveland, Tennessee, who has been dancing for 24 years. He has trained at the prestigious Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts and the Rock School in Philadelphia. He has trained with the Orlando Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet and the Georgia Ballet. Over the years, Cook has performed lead roles in “La Fille Mal Garde,” “Giselle,” “La Sylphide,” “Le Corsaire,” “Don Quixote,” “Swan Lake” and “Sleeping Beauty.” Cook brings to the stage his characterization of Drosselmeyer, Clara’s godfather, for this season’s performances.

This season’s role of the Arabian Princess is danced by the newest staff member at the Highlands Ballet Company, Liana Carpio. Carpio is a former dancer with Houston Ballet, a 2011 Prix de Lausanne finalist, a third place YAGP winner, and has performed on national and international tours.

“The colors and classical ballet dances are simply breathtaking. Experience the immense wonder of a child as young Clara’s world transforms into a fantastical land of snow, Land of Sweets and adventure. Follow Clara through her journey as she and her beloved Nutcracker encounter the Mouse King and his minions. Watch in amazement as they are entertained by dancers from around the world led by the exquisite Sugar Plum Fairy. We invite you and your family to immerse yourselves in the magical sceneries and timeless holiday story. Come join us and share this memorable tradition with family and friends during this Christmas Holiday Season,” Cole-Roberts says.

Performances are at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts Dec. 14 and 15 beginning each day at 2:30 p.m. Additionally, Highlands Ballet Company offers performances Dec. 12 and 13 to area elementary, middle and high school students.