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Back in 1994 — long before Oprah announced her desire for brown angels and her fans then flooded her with brown angels — I wrote a piece, “Angels of Color: Divinely Inspired or Socially Constructed?” that appeared in Diversity: A Journal of Multicultural Issues.
Each year, Ballet Arizona rings in the season with Ib Andersen’s “The Nutcracker,” when dancing toys, mischievous mice, waltzing flowers and sparkling snowflakes dance to Tchaikovsky’s score performed by The Phoenix Symphony.
HERE: ‘The Nutcracker’ in Ahwatukee this weekend
For years Ahwatukee Foothills sisters Ava and Ella Loew have watched their cousin perform in “The Nutcracker” ballet, but this year they’re making performing in the show a family affair.
In this photo provided by JCPenney, stylized nutcrackers in gold and silver are actually candles, from Jonathan Adler’s holiday collection. Following the general trend in home decor, holiday trim and accessories this year are a mix of eclectic and traditional colors and styles. Style watchers say we’re approaching the holidays with a more open mind, and decor has never been more expansive in terms of what works. (AP Photo/JCPenney)
Eight years ago, my daughter Jasmine asked if she could audition for the Ahwatukee Foothills “Nutcracker” performance. She was new to the world of ballet and dance, but I relented, and she was thrilled to get parts as a Baby Mouse and a Mini Bon Bon. And the next thing I knew, her Saturday soccer games now had conflicts with “The Nutcracker” practice — called “rehearsals,” I was quickly corrected. I kept hearing about how much fun Jasmine was having at these rehearsals, how many new friends she was making, and how she couldn’t wait for “Opening Night.” I didn’t pay too much attention. I just paid for the costumes, bought tickets for a performance, and occasionally picked her up after a rehearsal and raced her to her soccer game.
“The Nutcracker” ballet” in Ahwatukee Foothills has been refreshed and reworked for its 14th year but the new changes have only added to the magic, according to Dance Studio 111 owner Kimberly Lewis.
(L-R) Danya Matulis, Jessica Cooper and Madolyn Conant during rehearsal for the Nutcracker at Dance Studio 111 on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.
(L-R)(back row) Jasmine Bassham, Jessica Symmes,Ashlyn Weninger, Danielle Dawson, Madi Nash, (front row) Danya Matulis, Jessica Cooper and Madolyn Conant pose during rehearsal for the Nutcracker at Dance Studio 111 on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.
Ashlyn Weninger and Zach Robertin during rehearsal for the Nutcracker at Dance Studio 111 on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.
Danielle Dawson during rehearsal for the Nutcracker at Dance Studio 111 on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.
Jasmine Bassham during rehearsal for the Nutcracker at Dance Studio 111 on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.
Madolyn Conant during rehearsal for the Nutcracker at Dance Studio 111 on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.
Two beautifully decorated designer Christmas trees will be making the holidays a little brighter for children at the Child Crisis Center and homeless veterans at the MANA (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) House this year thanks to the work of two Ahwatukee Foothills residents.
You needn’t have subjected your stuffed animals to tea parties as a child to enjoy Ballet Etude’s Nutcracker Sweet Tea with your own kiddos.
Jessica Cooper, a senior at Desert Vista High School, is preparing for her upcoming competition where she will be competing for the 2014 Miss Teen Arizona USA Pageant crown.
Jessica Cooper, senior at Desert Vista High School, as the Sugarplum Fairy for the upcoming Ahwatukee Foothills Nutcracker Ballet 2013 to be performed Dec. 20 and 21.
Mountain Pointe senior Hannah DeMarr has been spinning and twirling gracefully as a ballerina since she was 3 years old.
Stephanie Ann Kuells went to be with our angels on Wednesday, Feb. 20. She was born on Aug. 3, 1988, to Jennifer and Keith Kuells at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. This happened to be her father’s 30th birthday. What a beautiful gift! Stephanie had many challenges in her short life, but she tackled each one with determination, beauty and grace.
Michelle Mahowald and Chelsea Early, The Nutcracker
“The Spirit of Christmas” show at Chandler Center for the Arts is as much fun for the performers as it is for the audience.
Saturday, Nov. 24