NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> Music from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” filled the air at Pickering Field Sunday afternoon as aspiring dancers gracefully moved across the grass in an interpretive retelling of the Nutcracker story.

Before a sizable audience bundled up against the cold and masked up against COVID-19, students from BC Discoveries Dance & Theater Arts Company took their 16th Annual Nutcracker performance to the great outdoors this year.

Despite the cold and the occasional strong gust of wind, the dancers from the Turning Out Performing Company along with BC’s ballet students presented a showcase of talent, beauty and grace that won extended, glove-muffled applause from the audience.

Dressed in red and white Santa costumes, the Turning Out Performing Company opened the afternoon with a showcase of holiday dance numbers. That was followed by “The Nutcracker: Short and Suite,” a condensed version of the holiday favorite, presented by the company’s ballet and dance students.

The child-friendly retelling of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s "The Nutcracker Suite,” is meant to introduce youth to ballet in a fun, colorful atmosphere. It features vibrant costuming, strong characters, Tchaikovsky original scores, all condensed into a short, 45-minute version of the traditional Christmastime ballet.

“They loved it. And they were very excited to do it for their friends and family,” said BC owner Kristina Tuxhorn following the show. “They were such troopers,” she said of her dancers who held up well against gusts of wind and cold temperature. “They were so excited to dance and they were just grateful to be able to do it.

“It was really heartwarming that other people could see us perform this year, too,” added Tuxhorn.

The company typically takes its show on the road to local nursing homes and event venues, but due to the pandemic was unable to appear in person this year. So they did the next best thing. They recorded their show at Waterfront Park in Trenton for their friends at the local nursing homes to watch later.

Based in Newtown, BC Discoveries is a high-energy, performance-based program where students receive quality instruction as well as performance opportunities. Classes include dance (ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, dance theater and pointe), acting and voice.

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