Grafton Girl Is Her Family’s Second ‘Nutcracker’ Star In A Row
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Isabella is already familiar with the role because her sister Sophia was cast as Clara two years ago. Ballet Arts Worcester owner Jennifer Agbay says the sisters were cast in the same role for very different reasons.
“We cast Isabella as Clara this year because she has a juvenile quality that this role needs," Agbay said. "She can create this young persona and she’s very strong technically. We cast her older sister Sophia as Clara two years ago because she was very technically advanced. She ended up really growing artistically through the show and we saw huge development from dancer to artist.”
The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet featuring a musical score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Though originally not a success, the show has enjoyed huge popularity since the 1960’s and is performed by ballet companies throughout the world, particularly in the U.S. during the holiday season. Ballet Arts Worcester has mounted the show for the past twelve years at both Clark University and The Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts.
One hundred and twenty five local ballet students auditioned for the show this year, which according to Agbay, made competition fierce.
“I cast the parts with two other teachers,” said Abgay. “These roles are precise and require high level technique, artistry and acting. The role of Clara is particularly challenging to cast because we have to find a girl who can manage this demanding role with the appearance and movement of a child.”
Isabella has already begun rehearsing for The Nutcracker which includes classes and rehearsals seven days a week. The role of Clara also has to understudy all of the other parts in the show, and Agbay said Isabella can handle it.
“She practices until she gets it right,” Agbay said.
From mouse to star
When she was seven years old, Isabella debuted in Agbay’s production of The Nutcracker playing a mouse. This year her sister Sophia will dance supporting roles. The girls’ youngest sister, 11 year old Arianna, will be performing minor roles as well. Some might consider the “come down” from Clara to be disappointing. Agbay jokes it can be a big change for her former Clara’s, but states that it’s all part of the life of a classical ballerina.
Ballet Arts Worcester will present The Nutcracker at The Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts, November 29 through December 1st.
Related Slideshow: Foodie Getaways in Massachusetts
Food lovers will love these destinations statewide for indulging your palate.
Vienna Historic Inn + Restaurant, Southbridge, MA
A feast for all your appetites. This historic inn is filled with old world charm, antiques, chandeliers & steins. Each room is adorned with soft music, ambience and uniqueness. You will be delighted with hard-to-find Austrian, German, Swiss, French as well local meats, seafood and vegan options. An extensive gluten-free menu available. The beer garden will be open through the end of the October.
Jewish Food Tour
Ahla Food Tours, Brookline, MA
Explore Jewish cuisine on this eye-opening 3-hour walking tour of historical Brookline and experience what TV Diner called a "fabulous Boston neighborhood tour!" and Jewish Advocate raved is "whetting the appetites of Jewish and non-Jewish diners alike". You'll taste authentic Jewish food - matzo ball soup, latkes, falafel, kosher wines, noodle kugel ice cream and dozens more. Hear unique anecdotes about the welcoming Brookline purveyors and savor the rich history of Jewish Brookline.
Blue Hills Brewery, Canton, MA
We're lucky in Massachusetts to have many microbreweries, large and small, for touring and tasting. But Blue Hills Brewery has combined its makes great tasting beers with a real educational imperative--an internship. A dream come true for beer lovers, candidates can vie for working with Blue Hills' Master Brewer Andris Veidis in a true apprenticeship. Not for the casual brewer. To learn more, check online, here. http://bluehillsbrewery.com/internship.php
Sweet Dessert Bar, Worcester, MA
A dessert lover's destination, Sweet was recently in the news for having challenged New York chef Dominique Ansel as laying claim to the invention of the cronut. Whether you're team Worcester or team NYC, enjoy Sweet's lounge chairs or sit at the bar, have a drink and watch as the chefs prepare a one of a kind dish for you. Not your average piece of cake, Sweet's appetizers and desserts are inspired by the freshest local ingredients, seasonal fruits, and artisan chocolates.
Old + New Dining
The Farm Table, Bernardston, MA
In the lush Pioneer Valley between Deerfield and the Vermont border, this remarkably restored 1800 farmhouse features cutting-edge green energy and the freshest local and regional foods seasonally available. Combine a delicious sojourn with holiday shopping at Kringle Candle and Kringle Christmas Barn.
Fried Clam Pilgrimage
Woodman's of Essex, Essex, MA
Keep summer alive year-round by making a pilgrimage to this institution that is counting down to its 100-year anniversary. Go for the fried clams, because that's what was invented here on July 3rd, 1916. Lawrence "Chubby" Woodman, at the humorous suggestion of a friend, fried up a few clams at his roadside stand in Essex, Massachusetts and the original fried clams were born.
East Dennis Oyster Farm, Cape Cod, MA
If you think oysters are a summer pleasure, you're right but you're wrong. Late October and November yield some of the best oysters, so consider bundling up and heading to the Cape for a tour of John and Stephanie Lowell's farm on the tidal flats off Quivett Neck. To make an appointment for a tour, go here.
Hit the Trail
Massachusetts Wine + Cheese Trail
A wine and cheese trail in Massachusetts? That’s right, the Bay State features 40 licensed wineries, producing wine from a collection of locally grown fruits – grapes, apples, cranberries, peaches, and blueberries – across, roughly, a total of 2,200-acres of wine farm land, where 439 acres are devoted exclusively to wine production. You can download a map and pick up the trail at any place, exploring small and pristine providers.
Wine in the City
City Wine Tours, Cambridge, MA
Want an urban oenophelia adventure? City Wine Tours is the perfect gateway to enjoying Boston's vibrant wine culture and best restaurants. Sip, savor, and explore as we take you on a walking tour through Boston's most historic neighborhoods, with stops at award-winning restaurants, luxury hotels and gourmet wine shops. Cheers.
A New Kind of Crawl
Dishcrawl Pioneer Valley, Springfield, MA
You love a pub crawl? How about a restaurant crawl? The foodies at Dishcrawl aim to provide you with Pioneer Valley's premier culinary social experience by bringing together neighborhood restaurants, local chefs, regional food producers and fellow food enthusiasts. Join for a one-of-a-kind gastronomic adventure! Check out next week's All Hallows Eve crawl in Amherst, MA.
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