Katherine Giese knows that there are many challenges in presenting a production live.
But with a smile she went on to carry out a plan.
She has done so her entire life as a professional dancer.
Giese and the Ballet Repertory Theater of New Mexico are in the final hurdles of presenting the holiday tradition of The Nutcracker.
The company will present six performances over two weekends beginning on Saturday, December 17th and Sunday, December 18th at the KiMo-Theater. It will then be repeated on December 23rd and 24th. There is also a matinee performance for students on Monday 19th December.
“The rehearsals are going well and we’re having fun,” says Giese, BRT Managing Director. “One of the challenges this year is that more than half of our cast has never done this performance before. There’s a learning curve, but the excitement of being back on stage is exciting.”
The story of The Nutcracker is loosely based on ETA Hoffmann’s fantasy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, about a girl who befriends a Nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve and fights a nutcracker leads the evil mouse king.
Giese became managing director and artistic director in 2004. Throughout her career in this position, she has been able to work with dancers and watch their growth.
The staging of “The Nutcracker” takes a lot of time, she says.
“I burn the candle at both ends and even in the middle,” she says jokingly. “It was so cool to watch the dancers getting ready for the production. We’re finally back on stage and for many of the dancers it’s their first experience of it. Every rehearsal brings with it a bit of nervousness, but that quickly turns into excitement.”
This year’s line-up consists of 43 members, which is fewer than previous years.
“The cast usually ranges from 50 to 70,” she says. “Everyone has at least two parts. We are all involved in this production because it is such a revered tradition.”
Giese says the dancers will rehearse at the KiMo Theater for the week leading up to the opening on Saturday, December 17.
“It’s exciting because each dancer learns exactly where they need to be,” she says. “This is the final step to opening night.”