Sun. Oct 13th, 2019

Eastern Utah holiday traditions

A holiday tradition opens Thursday, Nov. 16 in the Geary Theatre as the College of Eastern Utah Dance Department presents The Nutcracker and The Grinch under the artistic direction of Carolyn Gwyther. The production of Grinch will be performed on Nov. 17 and 20, The Nutcracker on the 16 and 18, with curtain time at 7:30 p.m.

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A holiday tradition opens Thursday, Nov. 16 in the Geary Theatre as the College of Eastern Utah Dance Department presents The Nutcracker and The Grinch under the artistic direction of Carolyn Gwyther. The production of Grinch will be performed on Nov. 17 and 20, The Nutcracker on the 16 and 18, with curtain time at 7:30 p.m.
The Nutcracker music was written by Tchaikovsky in 1891. Historians write that he never really felt that he had perfected the melodies and considered it to be one of his worst pieces. When William Christensen imported the work to America at set it on the San Francisco Ballet in the 1940s, its success has made it a holiday tradition throughout the country with hundreds of performances each November and December. Carolyn was a part of the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker production. In fact, the beginning part of Waltz of the Flowers is from Christensen’s original production.
The CEU performance is in its 21st year and will depict the story of young Clara and her nutcracker-turned prince. The Grinch is a story about the true meaning of Christmas.
The piece “Angels” which will be performed with the Grinch program was choreographed by Gwyther and dedicated to Christensen upon his death. He loved the high Uintah Mountains perhaps because he and his brothers Harold and Lew were born in Brigham City.
Gwyther has always enjoyed directing the program because, “The Nutcracker is special to me as it was my first performance as a professional Ballet dancer. I was 17. .”
Company members include Joe Beauregard, Andrea Dillingham, Jesika Henderson, Rachel Jenson, Laurel Lemon, Amy Martinez, Colby Nielsen, Kristena Scow, Jenny Sela, Whitney Snow and Courtney Young.
Guest artists include Melissa Anast, Jenelle Anast, Kitani Anderson, Steve Lasslo, Dolan Raby, Bryan Smith, Dr. Ryan Hansen and Tori Frandsen.
College students Zack Tonc, Nicole Scott, Heather Hughes, Joseph Palmer and Amanda Gill.
The community members include Dr. George Uhlig, Dr. Joseph Chimeno, Brandi Weaver, Troy Dennis, Nicholas Hansen, Melissa Wood, Kayla Petersen, Kelley Dean, Susannah Ohlwiler, Ashlee Kerr, Paisley Kerr, Annika Hansen, Hayley Taylor, Whitney Morgan, Dallas Anderson, Cal Kerr, Casey Rich, Forrest Daniels, Andrew Gagnon, Tanner Gagnon, Dakota Kerr, Candace Gagnon, Misty Bingham, Hannah Branch, Savanna Hubbard, Taylor Frandsen, Sarah Heaps, Sarah Ohlwiler, Anne England, Aaron Meles, Ryelan Ferguson, Adriana Taylor, Kaycey Taylor, Luke Hansen, Zoey Zamantakis, Tanya Kilcrease, Anthony Kilcrease, Samule Mele, Smith Heaps, Preston Anderson, Taran White, Rebekkah Kilcrease, Brittney Kerr, Carley Branch, Aspen Hubbard, Hannah Branch and Savanna Hubbard.
Before tonight’s performance, the cast performed a matinee for the students at Pinnacle Canyon Academy on Wednesday.
The cast will move their sets to Helper’s Rio Theatre for a special production on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the community’s Christmas festival.

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