Ballet Spartanburg prepares for opening night of ‘The Nutcracker’ Dec. 13

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – For Ballet Spartanburg dancers, every practice, every lift, every pointe counts as the pressure is on for this year’s performance of “The Nutcracker.”

Ballet Spartanburg is performing “The Nutcracker” at Converse College on Dec. 13 through Dec. 15, and is one of the only local professional companies performing the popular ballet in the Upstate.

“The Nutcracker’s” Clara, performed by ballerina Madelynn Morgan, said she’s both nervous and excited about the performance.

“I have to make sure I remember things and make it look beautiful at the same time,” Morgan said.

But while the dancers are feeling the pressure, they’re not alone. Costume Manager, Missy Kimbrell, is a Nutcracker veteran who, admittedly, still gets a few butterflies.

Members of The Nutcracker cast pose for a picture

“Right before the curtain goes up, I’m checking the bows, like Clara’s bow. All the party girls have bows like that, and so I go through and double check all of them to make sure they’re straight,” Kimbrell said.

She noted this ballet has more than 100 costumes, with at least 50 smaller accessories, like hair bows, tiaras, buttons and hooks. Everything has to be right, and while the performers and volunteers do help her out, a manager’s work is never done.

 “I have to get the costumes ready and I have to set up the costume quick changes for those dancers that have to quickly change from one to another,” Kimbrell said, “A lot of adjusting costumes and making sure they fit properly.”

But, all this pressure, Morgan noted, adds to the excitement of getting to perform at Converse College’s Twichell Auditorim.

“I love Converse College,” Morgan said. “The Twichell is such a nice stage to perform on, and I’m really excited. I’m a little nervous.”

Morgan, now 12 years old, explained that the ballet for her is about Christmas and magic. She began her career in ballet at 8 years old and said seeing her friend perform inspired her.

“When I was young I was like, ‘I want to be in that’ and now here I am being Clara in “The Nutcracker.” It’s so crazy to think about that,” Morgan said.

For more information on The Nutcracker playing at Converse College, Twichell Auditourim click here.

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