‘Nutcracker’ production coming to Carson City

Kate Frels leaps into the air during rehearsal for "The Nutcracker."

Kate Frels leaps into the air during rehearsal for "The Nutcracker."

Dancing is life for Carson High School senior Lisarah Simonson.

This weekend, Simonson will get to share her life with the Carson City community in “The Nutcracker.”

The 27th annual Pinkerton Ballet Theatre’s performance of the classic Christmas tale features local dancers from Dayton, Carson City and Lake Tahoe. Nearly 60 dancers ranging from three years and older will be performing at the Carson City Community Center.

The production has 47 dancers from Carson City, including 17-year-old Simonson, who has been dancing in the Nutcracker for 14 years.

“When I was younger, the Nutcracker was my life and it is something I am always looking forward to,” she said. “I love it, it’s so fun and it really brings out the holiday spirit.”

Simonson has been dancing in the Nutcracker with the Pinkerton Ballet since she was three years old, when her aunt suggested Simonson join her cousin in the production.

“I wasn’t as crazy about dance then and I tried it, loved it, and it has just grown since,” Simonson said. “(Dancing in the Nutcracker) only enhanced my love of dance.”

Simonson can be found daily until 9 or 10 p.m. at the Forever Dance Lake Tahoe dance studio. In addition to being trained in ballet, she also is currently involved in contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, modern, point ballet and tap.

“Dancing is sort of my outlet,” Simonson said. “It is my safe haven.”

Simonson said being in the show has greatly improved her dancing ability because the show features professional dancers, choreographers and artistic directors who help train the dancers each year during the show.

“I am excited to showcase my improvements because I have improved a ton in just even a year’s time,” Simonson said. “My technique is better and my ability to dance has improved with every Nutcracker I dance in.”

Simonson created choreographer Joan Elias, and art directors Ayako Britt and Natalie Berger for making her “a better dancer.”

For Simonson, participating in “The Nutcracker” helps her connect with the community.

“It has been such a beneficial production for me to be able to gain confidence with my performances because it takes a lot to dance in front of a lot of people,” Simonson said. “I love being able to perform on stage and I really enjoy getting to perform for all of the people in the community. I am so sad this is my last year with the production but I have appreciated every show we’ve done.”

To see Lisarah and the other dancers, the Nutcracker will be running at the Community Center Friday through Sunday. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 for general admission and $18 for students and seniors. To get tickets visit pinkertonballettheatre.org.


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