Festival’s Nutcracker

The Nutcracker by Festival Ballet is one of those seasonal treats that make Providence extra magical for the holidays. This year promises to be no exception.
There will be a couple of special elements. For the first time, two students from Festival’s adaptive dance classes – a program aimed at helping children with Down Syndrome grow more comfortable in their abilities through dance – will be playing roles on stage in the party scene. “The audience won’t necessarily notice that, but it’s a great moment for them and their families, and for us as educators,” says Festival Marketing Director and company member Dylan Giles.
Also, this will mark the last Nutcracker featuring company stalwart Mindaugas Bauzys in the role of the Cavalier. “This season is kind of his victory lap after eight years with the company. He’s been greatly admired for his command of classical style,” says Giles. Bauzys will dance as the Arabian, and will also perform with his real-life wife (and company regular) Vilia Putrius, as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Of course, the stalwart aspects of the performance will still be in play. The opulent setting of PPAC, the glittering costumes, the intense athleticism of the dancers and the opening charge across the stage by canine star Archibald. “We can never promise casting, whether you have two legs or four paws, but it looks like Archie will be making his opening run across the stage this year. Last year he opened his 125th performance, so he knows what he’s doing at this point,” explains Giles. About the event overall, he says, “This show always brings out a diverse audience. It’s very connected to the local artistic community – we’re a resident company, and we are very lucky and very happy to have such talented local performers.”
Festival Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker runs Dec 18 – 20, at PPAC, 220 Weybosset St, PVD.