Holliston Boy Featured in The Nutcracker
Zion Sun Harris of Holliston, MA is performing in Boston Ballet’s 2011 production of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker at The Boston Opera House, running November 25-December 31, 2011. He has been double-cast and will be playing the role of Fritz as well as a party boy. All 40 performances of this season’s production are presented by State Street Corporation.
Zion began dancing at the age of three and instantly fell in love with ballet. After attending the Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program in Newton for two years, Zion decided to make the switch to Boston Ballet School this Fall. At eleven, Zion currently dances 5 days a week and is planning on auditioning for the Boston Ballet’s pre-professional program this Spring. He has performed in many productions, but this will be his first time performing in the Nutcracker with Boston Ballet. It is a dream come true for him and he can’t wait to get up and perform on such an amazing stage surrounded by the professional company dancers.
Zion joins more than 250 other young dancers from around New England cast in The Nutcracker. Three different casts will take on the roles of toy soldiers, angels, polichinelles, dolls, baby mice, and party children during Boston Ballet''s 40 performances of The Nutcracker, an extended run of the classic production which includes a special New Year’s Eve celebration performance.
Boston Ballet School students have been a vital part of celebrating the holiday season with the magic of The Nutcracker for over 44 years. Boston Ballet''s 2011 production showcases the talents of Boston Ballet’s company dancers and features the intricate sets designed by Helen Pond and Herbert Senn, and elaborate costumes made by David Walker and Charles Heightchew.
2011 is the final year of the production featuring the current sets and costumes. The current production was finalized in 1995 and debuted to great acclaim. More than 300 new costumes were built or completely refurbished that year, as well as the iconic 42-foot Christmas tree with 1,000 flame-proofed sculptured branches, and the larger-than-life 16-foot chaise and 12-foot chair. The Boston Globe wrote in 1995, “[the production’s] play with scale [is] a tangible evocation of a child’s imagination.” As for the costumes, designed by the late David Walker, he experimented with rows of pleated tulle on the mice costumes, the dark blues and purples on Drosselmeier’s stunning cape, and used playful effects such as hidden hula-hoops within the garments to bring the children’s costumes to life.
Students of Boston Ballet School in The Nutcracker were hailed by The Boston Globe as “adorable, focused and disciplined” handling serious pattern and partner work with “impressive aplomb.” All children performing in The Nutcracker are students of Boston Ballet School and coached by an experienced staff including Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, Boston Ballet School’s Director Margaret Tracey, Ballet Mistress Melanie Atkins and Boston Ballet School’s world-renowned faculty. Students have an exciting schedule through the months of October, November, and December, which includes rehearsals with company dancers, costume fittings, experiencing the unique, backstage atmosphere at The Boston Opera House, and numerous performances accompanied by Boston Ballet Orchestra and enthusiastic audiences.
Participating in a full-length ballet is an important performance opportunity for students, exposing them to aspects of ballet they don''t experience in a regular class. The students learn about the hard work and enjoyment that composes a live ballet performance and have the unique opportunity to dance alongside Boston Ballet’s internationally acclaimed company dancers.
Boston Ballet School is the largest ballet school in North America now operating studios in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead and other programs throughout New England. Over 10,000 students participate in Boston Ballet School’s year-round, summer, adult, and outreach programs each year.
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