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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Breaking the ice: A CFSC “The Nutcracker” review

Photo credit: Columbia Figure Skating Club (@columbiafigureskating)
Photo credit: Columbia Figure Skating Club (@columbiafigureskating)

While each production of “The Nutcracker” is unique, its magic consistently transcends the boundaries of time and language. In a deep dive into the ballet and its origins, National Public Radio (NPR) wrote that “stories evolve from one author and one medium, to adapters and new media.” The story is a well-known holiday season classic, but the Columbia Figure Skating Club’s production was especially breathtaking. Stunning costumes and brilliant artistry came to life as over Dec. 9-10, the CFSC presented its 32nd annual production of “The Nutcracker.” 

The performers prepared tirelessly for six weeks leading up to the showcase, and many of Centennial’s own students participated both on and off the ice. Sophomore Mason Byrd assisted with sound, and several Centennial Chamber Choir students were invited to sing various holiday carols at both Saturday shows. Sean Yu, who skated as the prince, “enjoyed the experience of coordinating practices with people … and spending time to improve the quality of [the] production.” 

Centennial Chamber Choir students sing holiday carols.
Photo Credit: Columbia Figure Skating Club (@columbiafigureskating)

Every second of the 65 minutes of production was filled with excitement. Act 1 began with a lively Christmas celebration, where partygoers skated across the ice in joyous celebration. At the party, the main character Clara is gifted a nutcracker, which is passed around the rink until it eventually breaks. Visibly upset, Clara collapses onto a nearby couch and cries herself to sleep, until at the stroke of midnight, the Nutcracker comes alive. Clara and the Nutcracker then fight a battle against the Mouse King before he sweeps her away on a magical adventure. Despite knowing the story already, I was completely captivated by how each skater brought their personality to the stage. 

After an approximately 10-minute intermission, Act 2 followed Clara and the Nutcracker as they explored the World of Sweets. The audience marveled at the various groups of snowflakes, peppermints and other mystical characters gliding across the rink in synchronized formation. My favorite group was the little tea cakes, which consisted of some of the youngest performers dressed in adorable costumes. Such young children’s involvement displayed the passion of all the skaters in the show. As the night of adventure came to an end, the prince and Clara skated one last duet before the rest of the cast joined them on stage for their final bows. 

For Senior Ming Huang, who skated as Clara during the first of the four shows, her “favorite part of Nutcracker is always the fun and chaos of the weekend… and also knowing that our hard work paid off as the show comes together.” Having watched it, I can confidently say that it was evident of the dedication of everyone involved. Despite the chill of the indoor rink, I thoroughly enjoyed the show; without question, the end of this year’s ‘Nutcracker season’ was truly magical.

Senior Ming Huang and junior Sean Yu pose at the end of their duet.
Credit: Columbia Figure Skating Club (@columbiafigureskating)


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About the Contributor
Yeseo Lim, Copy Editor