Performers enchant in ‘The Nutcracker’

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Cullman Ballet Theatre School and The Cullman Ballet Company presented “The Nutcracker” Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17-18, 2022, at the Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Under the tutelage of artistic director and owner Elaine Willingham, Cullman Ballet Theatre School and The Cullman Ballet Company presented “The Nutcracker” Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon at the Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre on the Wallace State Community College campus. 

“I want to thank the fabulous faculty at Cullman Ballet Theatre School and the wonderful dancers that auditioned and all the parents that volunteered to make this weekend’s production possible,” Willingham shared. “A very special thank you to the hard-working, sweet dancers of the Cullman Ballet Company that continue to always work hard and share their love of ballet.” 

After decades of performing well-known story ballets and some not so familiar, including “Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake,” “Giselle,” “Cinderella” and many more, Willingham was encouraged by her daughter and granddaughter to begin a new tradition. In 2020, the company opted to include a yearly performance of “The Nutcracker” in its schedule. 

For the first two years, the performance was held at the school’s performance center, but this year the show moved to the big stage at Wallace State where Willingham and her daughter, Anna Lanier, stayed true to the tradition of the performance, but also added their own original touches. 

Saturday’s performers included: 

  • Clara: Aurellia Powell 
  • Fritz: Warren Clark 
  • Harlequin Doll: Violet Lanier 
  • Snowflakes: Andrea Austin, Natalie Clark, Davis Hackbarth, Violet Lanier, Noley Morring, Lacey Russell and Sophia Zalusky 
  • Sugar Plum Fairy: Andrea Austin 
  • Russian: Sophia Zalusky and Noley Morring 
  • Mirlitons: Natalie Clark, Davis Hackbarth, Sophia Jones and Esther Lanier 
  • Dew Drop Fairy: Emma Dodd 
  • Flowers: Andre Austin, Natalie Clark, Gracie Collins, Esther Lanier, Violet Lanier, Mollie Moon, Noley Morring, Lacey Russell and Isabella Rose Olszowka 

Sunday’s performers included: 

  • Clara: Eleanor Franklin 
  • Fritz: Alexa Park 
  • Harlequin Doll: Anna Grace Delucenay 
  • Snowflakes: Andrea Austin, Natalie Clark, Davis Hackbarth, Violet Lanier, Noley Morring, Lacey Russell and Sophia Zalusky 
  • Sugar Plum Fairy: Sophia Zalusky 
  • Russian: Natalie Clark and Gracie Collins 
  • Mirlitons: Emma Dodd, Sophia Jones, Noel Morring and Lacey Russell 
  • Dew Drop Fairy: Andrea Austin 
  • Flowers: Natalie Clark, Gracie Collins, Emma Dodd, Davis Hackbarth, Esther Lanier, Mollie Moon, Noley Morring, Lacey Russell and Sophia Zalusky 

Dancers in both performances included: 

  • Parents: Jason and Kelly Clark 
  • Party Girls: Abigail Beauregard, Kira Jeffrey, Molly Ozier and Lilia Wolfe 
  • Party Boys: Alice Campbell, Madi Cheatham, Caroline Hughey and Alexandra Jones 
  • Party Adults: Lisa Locklin and Antonio Lopez, Dana Hughey and Liam Lanier, Angel Mernatti and Christopher Hart 
  • Maids: Anna Lanier and Clara Lanier 
  • Moor Doll: Cynthia Hill 
  • Drosselmeyer: Caroline Jackson 
  • Nutcracker Prince: Joshua Kirkham 
  • Mouse King: Liam Lanier 
  • Mice: Sellers Brown, Alayna Dutton, Helena Jones, Harper Johnston, Amelia Powell, Kloie Tingle 
  • Soldiers: Maribelle Brock, Dylan Collins, Ivey Franklin, Saige Herron, Anna James Ojard, Isabella Robinson and Evelyn Williams 
  • Icicles: Anna Grace Delucenay, Joscelyn Lewis, Isabella Rose Olszowka, Elianna Wolfe 
  • Angels: Abigail Beauregard, Alice Campbell, Madi Cheatham, Dylan Collins, Ivey Franklin, Saige Herron, Caroline Hughey and Isabella Robinson 
  • Spanish: Abigail Beauregard, Warren Clark, Kira Jeffrey, Molly Ozier, Alexa Park and Lilia Wolfe 
  • Arabian: Madeline Jones 
  • Chinese: Anna Grace Delucenay, Joscelyn Lewis, Isabella Rose Olszowka, Elianna Wolfe 
  • Mother Ginger: Anna Lanier 
  • Clowns: Maribelle Brock, Sellers Brown, Alexandra Jones, Helena Jones, Harper Johnston, Anna James Ojard, Amelia Powell, Kloie Tingle and Evelyn Williams 

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