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The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

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The holidays will go nuts with “The Nutcracker”: what to expect

AUHSD’s tradition is defrosting and in production
Sydnee Cho

“The Nutcracker” has been a yearly tradition of the Anaheim Union School District (AUHSD) with many schools involved including Oxford, Anaheim High School, Cypress High School, Katella High School, Western High School, and Orangeview Junior High School. With the Christmas season coming up, this culmination of students’ hard work and talents will be performed at KPAC on Dec. 14 for free.

Based on the classic fantasy story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” “The Nutcracker” follows the young protagonist Clara and her nutcracker friend as they fight against the evil mouse king. Taking inspiration from this storyline, AUHSD’s production breathes life into this iconic production with its own creative twists.

“Every year we do a different version of ‘The Nutcracker’ story. This year, we are doing ‘The Nutcracker in a Flash’ by John Biscello, [a parody] that includes characters from other stories such as Charlie Brown, Jack Frost, Ghost of Christmas Past, and other colorful characters,” said Anaheim High School drama teacher Sharon King.

This production focuses on the traditional and contemporary ballet portions of the performance, but adds another spin through incorporating other styles of dancing.

“I like to do a fusion of different styles to create texture and visual complexity,” Anaheim High School’s dance teacher Oscar Gonzalez said.

Their creative combinations are also freshly made every production. “Every year I create new choreography. The dancers serve as my guides and allow me to get as creative as we want,” Gonzalez said. 

However, behind the scenes, there are many processes involved that lead up to the production: Costumes, sets, props, actors, music, and more are just a few of the aspects that are taken into account.

“I first put out the lists of all the dances from ‘The Nutcracker’, and the dancers pick which ones they want. And whatever music they want, we learn for them,” Miner said. 

Since there are limited rehearsals, performers practice on their own time. “‘The Nutcracker’ rehearsals are normally all during class, but we all have our own sectionals, which are group practices either before or after school in our instrument groups.” said Oxford’s symphony orchestra concertmaster Cameron Oates.

“Costumes are decided on the excerpt we do and the feel of the choreography. This year we will be doing a mix of burgundy knee length dresses, ballet skirts and darker tones,” Gonzalez said.

The team also overcame some obstacles during production. “Due to the fact that there are dance groups performing during this play, space is quite limited. There aren’t any permanent props since we don’t want them to trip over any,” said Anaheim High School student and production student director Ekene Nezrem. 

Since everyone is at their respective schools with little time to meet to perfect the parts, the timing per part is very important. “The most important thing is tempo, how fast it goes. We all make sure we are using the same metronome marking. Then we meet that afternoon to practice with the dancers,” Miner said. 

This long-awaited tradition spotlighting the actors and dancers topped with the orchestra, will definitely be one to not miss during the Christmas and holiday season.

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About the Contributors
Millie Kwon
Millie Kwon, Staff Writer
Personally recruited, some may say, by Dr. Hind herself at Lexington Junior High School before her transfer to Oxford Academy in 8th grade, Millie Kwon is a new writer for the Gamut. As a freshman, Millie is looking forward to collaborating with people as she has heard that the Gamut is a really fun experience! (She would not be wrong; ask any of our staff) She believes her defining trait to be merely “clumsy,” and claims she is not particularly athletic, despite her participating in tennis, dance and Taekwondo. She admits that others may think she is hard and mean and closed off at the beginning before getting to know her. However, Millie assures us all that once you talk to her, she will become your bestie within two days! (What a claim!) She enjoys chilling and watching TV in her free time. Some of her favorites include her childhood TV show Poroyo and Legally Blonde, and she enjoys listening to RnB and calm music. 
Sydnee Cho
Sydnee Cho, Staff Artist
Sydnee Cho, a junior on the Gamut, is serving her third year as an illustrator and writer. Despite her intimidating nature (so she thinks), she adores the color pink (hence her phone case), Monster High, The Devil Wears Prada, and talking to others. Sydnee claims that she is a fashionable person, which is obvious with her mindblowing total of 11 piercings and shining silver jewelry. Alongside, she has a dangerous addiction to making money and spending it on online shopping, working as a waiter in LA county. Not so surprisingly, her favorite thing in the world is money. She usually spends her time listening to 80s and 90s music, as well as Lana Del Rey, or playing Royal Match (she is currently on level 3945!). To the freshmen who are nervous about their new adventures in high school, Sydnee gives the advice, “Calm down and chill, life ain’t that deep.”
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