Moscow Ballet

Anna Katherine Watts, Staff Writer

One of the many productions put on by the Reynolds arts magnet program is the Moscow Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker, which is returning to Reynolds in December for a second time. Although there are many Reynolds students and faculty involved in the making of the production, some students still wonder: “What exactly is the Moscow Ballet and why are they here?

The Moscow Ballet  is a Russian dance company that tours North America annually putting on shows such as its most widely known performance of The Nutcracker. Dance teacher Ms. Hailey explained that Reynolds Auditorium and the school’s designation as an arts magnet drew the company to choose Reynolds High School as a partner for The Nutcracker production. 

“I sent in some audition materials to them,” Hailey elaborated, “and they said ‘Yes.’”

Similar to last year, auditions were held in the fall, and many Reynolds students tried out to be a part of the production. 

“The audition process was a little intimidating, we would learn a little bit and then perform it for Michael, a professional dancer in the program.” Sophomore Anna Zwigard said.

This production will introduce many new opportunities for the Reynolds students participating. For a majority of the dancers, this is their first opportunity to work with professional dancers and specifically with classically trained Russian dancers. 

“Michael taught a little faster than what I’m used to, but I thought it was really cool to learn from someone who is from a different country,” Zwigard said. 

Michael, who is one of the principal dancers in the company, spent a week at Reynolds training the participants and teaching the choreography. The students are now practicing and preparing for the return of the rest of the Russian cast for the full performance on December 16th.  

“There is also a community aspect to the show because not only do we use Reynolds students, but we also have elementary and middle school students,” Hailey said. 

“There are 55 student dancers, including 14 six-year-old snowflakes and nine younger party children, the remainder of the dancers are Reynolds students,” Hailey said. 

Many Reynolds students are cast as “variations.” The Russian dancers will perform a section of the ballet, such as Spanish Chocolate or Chinese Tea, and then the Reynolds dancers will come on stage and perform a variation of that dance. Costumes are provided by the Moscow Ballet company for the student dancers to wear in the production.

The Moscow Ballet brings a familiar story to Winston-Salem but with an international flair. This production of The Nutcracker provides a unique opportunity for not only Reynolds dancers but also dancers from all over Winston-Salem and will bring our local community together on the Reynolds campus.