Vilar Center ’Nutcracker’ performances continue in virtual format |

Vilar Center ’Nutcracker’ performances continue in virtual format

Seeing “The Nutcracker” is a classic holiday tradition for many families, and the Vail Friends of Dance is working to keep that tradition alive locally even during the pandemic.

Instead of a traditional theater seating at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, “The Nutcracker” will stream virtually from the VPAC stage. Over a four-day period, the dancers will record the ballet from the VPAC stage. While they will have to wear masks, the footage will be edited into a full production that will help the audience feel as though they are sitting in the theater instead of their living rooms. The performances are available for streaming Dec. 13 through Jan. 1, 2021.

Dancers from the Vail Youth Ballet Company and Vail Valley Academy of Dance, as well as professionals for bigger roles in the ballet, have been rehearsing since mid-September. After auditions, they were placed into rehearsal cohorts, based on their roles in the ballet, to help ensure social distancing. Masks were also required during rehearsal.

"The Nutcracker" ballet's performance will feature eight local high school seniors in the Vail Youth Ballet Company, who will be performing their final "Nutcracker." Many of them have been participating since they were little.
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Artistic Director Ashley Calligan, in her second year of directing the Vail Valley Academy of Dance, has had to get creative with choreography to ensure all rehearsals and the performances were COVID-compliant.

“We are definitely navigating uncharted waters. I hope each dancer knows how much we want to get them on stage at the Vilar Center this year, and capture the incredible work to share with our community, friends and family across the country,” she said. “Our devoted dancers continue to be so flexible, with everyone working together to make this year’s Nutcracker a success.”

VVAD alum Finn Dippy is the guest artist performing as the Prince and the Cavalier. He danced as the Prince in 2019, and is now a freshman a the University of Oklahoma, pursuing a degree in Dance.

This year’s Nutcracker performance also features eight of the company’s graduating senior class in the following roles:

  • Sydney Adair as Clara
  • Amanda Dirvonas as Arabian princess, snowflake and rose
  • Tanner Essex as Fritz, Mouse King and Russian pas de deux
  • Charlotte Gongaware as rose, soldier doll and snowflake
  • Jacqueline Lazier as lead angel, maid and flower
  • Audrey Lypps as snowflake, rose and Arabian princess
  • Carlotta Porter as Dew Drop Fairy Ballerina Doll and snowflake
  • Trevi Siebert as lead angel, maid and flower

For more information and to purchase tickets for the virtual “Nutcracker,” visit

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