Local Dance Students to Perform In Carolina Ballet's 'Nutcracker'
Rachelcole Byrd and Mulloy Manning will eagerly take the stage 10 times this holiday season to perform as soldiers in Carolina Ballet's "Nutcracker."
Both girls are dance students at Carolina Performing Arts Center in Southern Pines. Rachelcole is a sixth grade student at West Pine Middle School and has been dancing with CPAC since the age of three. Mulloy is a fifth grader at The O'Neal School and has danced for eight years.
CPAC Executive Director Sue Peterson says, "CPAC Artistic Director, Timour Bourtesenkov, is a principal dancer and founding member of Carolina Ballet in Raleigh. He encouraged CPAC students to audition for children's roles in 'Nutcracker.'"
Peterson, who is also associated with Carolina Ballet, explains that the lead roles are performed by Carolina Ballet's professional dancers. These dancers are of the highest caliber and come from throughout the world. They perform with the company in other exquisite Carolina Ballet productions all during the year.
Rachelcole is delighted at the thought of dancing with her CPAC teachers, Bourtesenkov and Margaret Severin-Hansen, whom she saw dance in the production last year.
"I will be nervous and so excited to be on the same stage with the dancers I admire so much!" she says.
In early September, the girls auditioned along with 150 other eager, young dancers. With the commute to Raleigh for rehearsals and performances, most of the children come from the triangle area. With 22 performances in all, the cast of dancers is split so they may have a break between performances.
Rachelcole and Mulloy have traveled every Saturday since the end of September to prepare for their roles.
In addition to "Nutcracker" rehearsals, the girls take nine hours of dance classes a week at CPAC. Most of their time in class is spent on ballet technique while they also enjoy jazz, tap and character dance.
Continuing through Dec. 23, they will perform in seven shows at Raleigh's Progress Energy Memorial Auditorium and three in Memorial Hall on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill.
"After seeing the 'Nutcracker' last year in Memorial Auditorium, it seems like a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get to dance there," says Mulloy.
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