BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — In our community is a beloved Christmas tradition – ‘The Nutcracker’. Some may even say the sugarplum princess, the mouse king and of course the nutcracker are as much a part of the season as Santa Claus.
So what did it mean for the dancers to bring those iconic characters back to the stage after it looked a little different during the pandemic?
“This is probably the one that captures that childlike spirit of ‘I want to do that.’ Almost every single dancer on this stage has said, ‘I came to see ‘The Nutcracker’, and I want to do that,” said Erica Uberroth, Co-Director of Civic Dance Center’s Nutcracker.
To the tune of Tchaikovsky — ‘The Nutcracker’ performed by the Civic Dance Center in Bakersfield – returned to the Mechanics Bank Theatre stage.
Erica Uberroth is the Co-Director and Choreographer in her 23rd nutcracker with Civic Dance Center from being a performer to the company’s artistic director but last year, they could only bring the iconic ballet to smaller groups. While it kept performances going, Uberroth said Civic Dance Center also saw their enrollment cut in half last year.
“Being able to perform in front of a live audience and share that experience with an orchestra, is magical so missing that didn’t quite feel like Christmas last year,” said Uberroth.
However, their 36 ‘made-to-order’ dance format called ‘curbside’ did still bring ‘The Nutcracker’ several hundred people, and Uberroth said it even brought some to tears. Enrollment is almost to where it was pre-pandemic, as full and live performances return.
“We get to be a part of several families and several people’s holiday traditions. We get to help them kick off their holiday spirit, and it’s also about hopefully inspiring the next generation of performers,” said Uberroth.