Clara’s Nutcracker: An Interview with WMS Dancers

Rachael Moss '15 and Linda D'Arco
Henry Rothenberg ’16 and Sam Bews ’15 reflect upon the process of preparing for one of Littleton, New Hampshire’s favorite traditions.
 
Rachael Moss ’15, Communications and Marketing Intern at WMS, took some time to interview two of the dancers in last weekend’s performance of the Clara’s Nutcracker before their first performance. Henry Rothenberg ’16, from New Jersey, debuted in his first ballet with the Creative Edge Studio in the role of Clara’s Uncle Drosselmeyer. Sam Bews ’15, of Littleton, New Hampshire, is an accomplished dancer and a veteran of the Nutcracker show. Sam danced the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy this year.
 
Rachael:
How did you get involved with this performance?
Henry:
“I’ve always been interested in expanding my opportunities, and in finding connections to get involved with the school. This was a perfect opportunity because the dance studio doesn’t have many male performers. I talked to some of the other students, and they put my name into the hands of someone who was scouting for people, and she chose me. I was in a small performance in elementary school. But other than that— this is my first experience in a bigger show.”
Sam:
“We’ve done this performance 4 years now, and I’ve been involved all 4 years.
I’ve danced the roles of Clara, the Snow Queen, an Arabian Dancer, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Sugar Plum Fairy is my favorite, because I’ve gotten much more into the role this year, my last year.”
 
Rachael:
“What did you learn in the course of preparing for and dancing your role?”
Henry:
“It’s definitely fun to be the only dude. It’s a different experience to go from all male sports teams to being mostly with female influences. I would say working under pressure is [a skill I’ve developed]. Also— acting. Being on stage for the first time is an exciting experience. Anything that you’ve never really done before is a fear, so I’ve really worked on my fear of performing.”
Sam:
“It’s the same style choreography for each dance, but sometimes she (Kathy Kohatsu, Director of the Creative Edge Dance Studio and The White Mountain School dance program) will make it more difficult, depending on who is performing that character.”
 
Rachael:
“How do you feel about the upcoming performance?”
Henry:
“I’m absolutely terrified. It’s definitely scary, I’ve never been put in this kind of position before, so I don’t know what to expect.”
Sam:
“I think this is a really great opportunity that we have. If we were performing in a bigger area [a city], I would never have been able to be the Sugar Plum Fairy. That part would have gone to a professional dancer. I think that being in a place with a small production company is an awesome opportunity to perform and gain lead role experience.”

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