Auditions for the annual Lafayette Ballet Theatre production of The Nutcracker are wrapping up today.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of the theatre's production of the classic holiday ballet.
"The 2021-2022 season will be our 40th anniversary here at Lafayette Ballet Theatre," said Shannon Heath, co-artistic director. "We are excited to launch another year and are grateful we survived the last year — a year that led us to recognize the importance of quality of life for our community."
"We need and missed those places and moments of shared joy," said Mitzi Heath, co-artistic director. "Not that we didn't recognize that gratitude before, but we became so aware of appreciating since the onset of the pandemic. Having the opportunity to continue working with our dancers, even when we were doing so virtually, led me to so much appreciation."
The Heath sisters say they have seen young dancers acknowledge that same level of appreciation they feel themselves.
"Many of them shared the appreciation for being able to come back to classes," Shannon Heath said. "They're also task masters. They too have experienced the hardships and lifestyle modifications the pandemic required. They've shown me lessons about mental health and the quality of life. We have learned through them and through our own experiences."
To qualify for "The Nutcracker" auditions, a dancer must be at least 8 years old by December 2021*; have completed at least one year of ballet study; and be studying ballet currently in an established dance program. Masks were required, and the theatre offered zoom auditions for those who requested them.
Two performances are scheduled of The Nutcracker: Dec. 11, 2021 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 12 at 2 p.m., in the Heymann Performing Arts Center. Due to Covid-19, the plan is to present the ballet live, but conditions may change and if they do it will be presented via live stream.