'Nutcracker' parts are a dream for East Providence ballerinas


PROVIDENCE — Several local youngsters will have more than simply visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads as they perform with Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) in the annual holiday tradition, "The Nutcracker."

All are cast as candy dolls, all are from Seekonk or East Providence.

After attending an open audition back in September, the girls won roles in the party scene as “candy dolls” or dolls that come to life and foreshadow the countries Clara visits in her journey to the land of the Sugarplum fairy.

Ranging in ages from 10 to 12, Madison Bedrosian, Nicole Campatelli, Courtney McCaughey and Amanda Emby are friends both in and out of dance class.  They may be young, but make no mistake; these girls are all business when it comes to dance.

Putting in countless hours each week at their local dance studios, they each aspire to make dance a career choice as they grow up.  And each agrees, dancing in "The Nutcracker" is a wonderful training ground.

The experience of taking to the grand stage of Providence Performing Arts Center, rubbing elbows with the professional company backstage, meeting new children from many studios throughout southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and rehearsing with FBP’s artistic director, Misha Djuric, are just a few of the things the wide eyed dancers voiced as “the things they love about being in Nutcracker.”

Other local children who won roles are; Elise Therriault from Rehoboth, Lindsey and Kailey Williams, of Riverside, Sophia Ahn, Zoey Joering and Anika Toprac, from Rumford and Vanesssa Jacome of Seekonk.  Brandon McGurik, a member of Festival Ballet Providence’s junior company, and also from Seekonk, will mark his 10th year appearing in "The Nutcracker."

As December rolls nearer and the anticipation of opening night grows, the children’s collective excitement is enough to bring even the sleepiest out of a long winter’s nap, to make those visions a reality.

Festival Ballet Providence performs The Nutcracker on Dec. 14, 15 & 16 at PPAC, on Weybosset Street, Providence.  Call the box office for tickets at (401) 421-ARTS (2787) or visit the website @ www.ppacri.org.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.