Still displaced after the destructive flooding of the Wortham Center from Hurricane Harvey, Houston Ballet will once again perform Artistic Director Stanton Welch's choreography in The Nutcracker, but on different stages.
Allison Miller, who will be dancing the now more important role of Clara, is looking forward to performing at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land and then the Hobby Center downtown. "I think it's a really neat opportunity to go to other parts of the city," she said. "I think it's great that we're going to be in Sugar Land and there's a huge audience there that normally might not come to the Wortham. It's going to be neat to have kind of a new crowd and to get people to that venue which is so beautiful and so nice and new. "
And she welcomes going to the Hobby as well. "To be at the Hobby Center as our temporary home this year has been great, so it's fun that we'll have a run there too," she said.
In the now classic tale of the girl who goes to bed and dreams during the night of toys that are alive — albeit , much larger and with excellent dance skills. The Nutcracker, of course, comes complete with Tchaikovsky's music, recognizable far beyond the ballet stage.
During the Harvey flooding a lot was lost, including ballet shoes and costumes from several past productions. But The Nutcracker survived intact; its costumes had been moved to a higher floor, Miller said. "They were all safe."
This is the twelfth year Miller will be dancing in The Nutcracker, the second since Welch premiered his new choreography last year. "Clara has a little bit of a deeper story. She has a little bit more interesting family dynamic. We've brought a sister into the party scene. Normally she just has a brother. In this version she grows up. It's fun as a character."
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Growing up, Miller had been in gymnastics. "I quit because they were too mean and I was always crying," she said laughing. "So then I started doing ballet, which is just as nasty of a sport sometimes, but I just loved it and it stuck."
Performances of The Nutcracker are scheduled for December 10-23 at Smart Financial Centre, 18111 Lexington Boulevard in Sugar Land and at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby, on December 30 - January 6.