Performers of Ventura County Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” are on pointe


As the Grand Finale begins to take place, characters from all parts of the story join together on the stage. Photo by: Sophia Denzler

Sophia Denzler and Brody Daw

Ventura County Ballet’s annual Nutcracker: Behind the curtain

Each year, the Ventura County Ballet puts on the Nutcracker, a traditional ballet performance that happens around Christmastime. The two-act ballet consists of five main characters: Clara, the Nutcracker, Drosselmeyer, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King. The globally known ballet follows the story of Clara’s dream as she befriends the Nutcracker and wages a war against the frightful Mouse King 

On, viewers were asked which part of The Nutcracker are their favorites. Graphic by: Sophia Denzler

in a new fantasyland. This year, Ventura County Ballet performed on Dec. 11 at 2 P.M. and 7 P.M. and Sunday, Dec. 12 at 2 P.M. 

The velvet curtains were drawn at 7 P.M. at Rancho Campana High School in Camarillo to begin The Nutcracker. There have been countless dancers in each role before, each performer adding their own interpretation to this age-old play. This  wordless performance requires dancers to use fluid movement to express emotion and the actions of their role. This year Ventura County Ballet included a bit of modernized dancing into the roles such as, the floss, the worm and a bit of disco dancing leaving the audience roaring with laughter.  

During the Nutcracker season, performers sacrifice much of their time after school, and on the weekends. VHS senior Quinn Ferguson said, “Nutcracker rehearsals range from three to six hours on Saturday, sometimes Sunday rehearsals are required as well. We basically give up our Saturdays in the fall, but I think it is worth it in the end.” Being a senior, this year’s Nutcracker is her last, “It is bittersweet when thinking that it is my last nutcracker and all the friends I have made, but it is definitely a major stress reliever to have it over with.” 

“We are very pleased to bring you this year’s Nutcracker with global ballet stars and nearly eighty local, professional, pre professional dancers and aspiring little snowflakes. These are the dancers of tomorrow,” said Cheryl Sills,  Ventura County Ballet  board member, as she introduced the beginning of the Nutcracker she said, “this is an outreach to those who otherwise could not experience dance.” 

Attending the Nutcracker is a tradition for many, but staring in the Nutcracker seems to be a tradition for junior Olivia Roman, who played the role of Arabian this year, and has been dancing since the age of two. Roman  has been in  13 Nutcracker productions. “I’m always pretty nervous before I step out on stage because I just want to do my best and make the people watching proud. But, as soon as I walk onto that stage, my nerves disappear and it is then my happy place.” She continued, “I do plan on dancing until I graduate! Nutcracker always has a special place and I absolutely love dancing with my friends and performing every year.” 

Junior Ella Ullrich who performed Spanish, Waltz and Snow said, “The end of the Nutcracker is very bitter sweet. I am happy to have my weekends back, but it is so much fun and I have to wait another year until I can do it again.” Spectators from VHS were in the audience as well, sophomores Libby Gallo and Kaitlyn Seymour were supporting. Gallo said, “It’s amazing, 10/10.”