It was an epic autumn of rehearsals, costume making, choreography, and more that created two magical & sold out shows of The Nutcracker: a bellydance tale! Some words for the Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Producer~ Aubre Hill.
"I am still on an amazing high from this past weekend. The Nutcracker: a Bellydance tale has been a dream of mine for years. Last year was the first production. I essentially gave a section of the story to different artists and let them create whatever they'd like through Bellydance. This year I wanted to take on choreographing the whole thing and building a cast through auditions that would rehearse together much like a ballet corp. So last August 27th, the studio filled with a wide range of dancers, and this year's Nutcracker season officially began. The audition started with an intense warmup and technique practice then broke down into three stylistic sections of across the floor & choreography including lyrical veil, jazz fusion & a cappella finger cymbals plus solo improvisation. I then sat with everyone's resumes along with my audition notes and put together the cast. Everyone accepted and rehearsals started shortly thereafter. It was a tremendous joy to watch the 12 core dancers ( Eve G., Shelly Burgwald, Belen Garibaldi, Chloe M. Carrera, Shana Raqs, Alia Saeed, Stefanie Bernhard, May Fearnley, Georgette Carvajal, Brianna Lina Galvan, Yuliya Lunessia & Andrea Inge) grow over the past few months as I created these pieces as well as such a delight to see the show slowly come to life.
It was an honor additionally have the beautiful Courtney, Lauren Boldt & Helena Vlahos as special guest artists. Throughout this process, Stefanie served as assistant director helping with a wide range of decisions in addition to dancing her booty off as well as designing the flyer, poster, and program.
Alia was the costume director of my dreams organizing the dozens of costumes that went into this show as well as making my visions come to life with new ensemble pieces and even organizing the check in of every piece after our last show.
Jake Fatooh has become the backbone our crew taking care of sound & lights as well as proactively helping with setup & take down. Even during technical issues (which every show experiences) he finds a way. My Qabila family not only performed representing the mice & soldiers with elaborate makeup & hair but also were my "beautiful locusts" of stage setup & striking. Rita Blaik & Jenn Aguilar-Mikkelsen brought snacks for the cast at random times when it was very much needed. Plus Jenn ran our bar in between performing Saturday. Daniel Estéban is not only the best Nutcracker but the biggest help always plus shares the best jokes for moments of sheer absurdity.
Jennifer Wahl & Mary Ludwig pitched in Sunday with their wonderfully supportive help at the bar & in the theater. Cassandra Albin made her Nutcracker debut as our lovely Clara. Deborah Albin not only ran door but jumped head first into production craziness and helped everywhere she could and always with a huge smile and joy. Shana knows what only a bestie would and lovingly makes sure I personally have what is needed be it food or coffee or anything. Rodin Eckenroth captured our gorgeous photos and got them on Getty Images. Michelle Niellose created the most adorable art poster for our production. And my incredible husband, Daniel Rosenboom, listened to countless hours of ideas, supported my vision and hard work in so many ways & continues to be my biggest advocate. And to everyone that came and shared in this experience, thank you so much for your support and selling out BOTH shows! I'm beyond happy. The biggest love to you all!!!"