‘The Nutcracker’ comes alive


Iconic ballet returns to Sidney Historic Theatre

By Blythe Alspaugh - balspaugh@sidneydailynews.com



Demonstrating a dance from The Nutcracker, on Tuesday, Nov. 23, are Sidney Dance Company members, left to right, Mallory Godwin, 17, Mariana Reese, 17, Anthony Kellner, 17, all of Sidney, Katie Kogge, 17, of Minster, and Cheyenne Maher, 17, of Piqua. Godwin is the daughter of T.J. and Melissa Godwin, she is playing the part of Lead Candy Cane. Reese is the daughter of Lisa and Jerry Reese and is playing the part of Dew Drop. Kellner is the son of Jennifer and Ken Kellner and is playing the part of the Rat King. Kogge is the daughter of Marc and Sheri Kogge and will be playing the Sugar Plum Fairy. Maher is the daughter of Thaleia and Riley Maher and will be playing the part of the Snow Queen.

Demonstrating a dance from The Nutcracker, on Tuesday, Nov. 23, are Sidney Dance Company members, left to right, Mallory Godwin, 17, Mariana Reese, 17, Anthony Kellner, 17, all of Sidney, Katie Kogge, 17, of Minster, and Cheyenne Maher, 17, of Piqua. Godwin is the daughter of T.J. and Melissa Godwin, she is playing the part of Lead Candy Cane. Reese is the daughter of Lisa and Jerry Reese and is playing the part of Dew Drop. Kellner is the son of Jennifer and Ken Kellner and is playing the part of the Rat King. Kogge is the daughter of Marc and Sheri Kogge and will be playing the Sugar Plum Fairy. Maher is the daughter of Thaleia and Riley Maher and will be playing the part of the Snow Queen.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY — Ballet lovers in the community can look forward to the return to full performances of “The Nutcracker” by the Sidney Dance Company this holiday season.

“They’re all working super, super hard. I get to sit back and enjoy the show when it’s done. My work is done come performance time, and that’s the rewarding part for me. I get to see them bring to life the vision that I had, and they do such a great job,” Sidney Dance Company Artistic Director Molly McFarland said. “It’s awesome to watch, and it’s awesome to be a part of.”

The ballet follows young Clara, who receives a nutcracker from her godfather, Drosselmeyer, at a party on Christmas Eve. During the night, after everyone else has gone to bed, Clara dreams that the nutcracker has grown to her size and engages in battle with a Mouse King. Clara watches as the battle commences, and when the mouse king wounds the nutcracker, she hits him with her slipper, defeating the mouse king and ending the battle. While weeping for her nutcracker, he transforms into a prince, and leads her through the pine forest as snowflakes dance around them to the kingdom which he rules, including the land of sweets. After they meet the Sugarplum Fairy and the Prince recounts Clara’s heroic efforts, a celebration of sweets from around the world is presented in Clara’s honor. A final waltz is performed by all the sweets before Clara and the Prince are lead to a reindeer-drawn sleigh. It takes off as they wave goodbye, and all the subjects wave back.

Last year, the Sidney Dance Company was able to perform “The Nutcracker” for a limited audience of household family members for two shows — one held in December 2020 and the other in January 2021. Both shows were supposed to be held in December but got split due to COVID complicating plans, and “The Nutcracker” was the only show held by the company last year. This year, the company has had a more standard experience in preparing for the performance, which will be fully open to the public to attend.

“I thought it was really, really important to have a performance they could all do, because they missed out on so much the year before, and in general. It was really important for me to make that happen,” McFarland said.

Having fewer restrictions on building capacity and on audience numbers has helped the company return to a more normal preparation for the performances that will be held beginning Thursday, Dec. 2.

“It’s really boosted the morale, and I think that everybody who is in the show this year is super excited and working really, really hard,” McFarland said. “I think a lot of us didn’t realize how much we had missed out on, until we got back to doing things normally. It’s good to be in a room together and learning together. It’s been really nice — I think everybody is just happy to be here.”

As it has been in previous years, McFarland has put new choreography in place to challenge the dancers and give them something new to tackle that will suit their strengths. Rehearsals started at the beginning of October, with rehearsals five hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays, and weekday rehearsals added leading up to opening night.

“It’s a challenge sometimes. We don’t get quite as much time to rehearse, but despite that, they work hard and we’re getting it done,” McFarland said. “We’re very grateful to be able to do what we do.”

Cheyenne Maher has been dancing for 11 years, and has spent the last three with the Sidney Dance Company. In this years’ performance of “The Nutcracker”, she will take the stage as the Snow Queen — her first principle role she’s held, and something she’s excited about.

“I’ve never played a lead role, it’s very exciting. I’ve learned time management — making sure with school, and dance, and rehearsals that everything is done when it needs to be done, and remembering dances,” Maher said. “We did recital in May, but I’m excited to be back on stage and performing again.”

Performances for “The Nutcracker” will be held Thursday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec 3, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m. All performances will take place at the Historic Sidney Theatre, 120 W. Poplar St., Sidney. Presale tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for children, students and seniors, and at the door are $15 for adults and $10 for children, students and seniors. All presale tickets to Sidney Dance Company and Historic Sidney Theatre events will require a $3 fee when purchased over the phone, in person or at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at https://sidneytheatre.ticketspice.com/the-nutcracker.

Demonstrating a dance from The Nutcracker, on Tuesday, Nov. 23, are Sidney Dance Company members, left to right, Mallory Godwin, 17, Mariana Reese, 17, Anthony Kellner, 17, all of Sidney, Katie Kogge, 17, of Minster, and Cheyenne Maher, 17, of Piqua. Godwin is the daughter of T.J. and Melissa Godwin, she is playing the part of Lead Candy Cane. Reese is the daughter of Lisa and Jerry Reese and is playing the part of Dew Drop. Kellner is the son of Jennifer and Ken Kellner and is playing the part of the Rat King. Kogge is the daughter of Marc and Sheri Kogge and will be playing the Sugar Plum Fairy. Maher is the daughter of Thaleia and Riley Maher and will be playing the part of the Snow Queen.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/11/web1_SDN112621NutcrackerDance-1.jpgDemonstrating a dance from The Nutcracker, on Tuesday, Nov. 23, are Sidney Dance Company members, left to right, Mallory Godwin, 17, Mariana Reese, 17, Anthony Kellner, 17, all of Sidney, Katie Kogge, 17, of Minster, and Cheyenne Maher, 17, of Piqua. Godwin is the daughter of T.J. and Melissa Godwin, she is playing the part of Lead Candy Cane. Reese is the daughter of Lisa and Jerry Reese and is playing the part of Dew Drop. Kellner is the son of Jennifer and Ken Kellner and is playing the part of the Rat King. Kogge is the daughter of Marc and Sheri Kogge and will be playing the Sugar Plum Fairy. Maher is the daughter of Thaleia and Riley Maher and will be playing the part of the Snow Queen. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Iconic ballet returns to Sidney Historic Theatre

By Blythe Alspaugh

balspaugh@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at balspaugh@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at balspaugh@sidneydailynews.com