Sarah and Zygmunt Sawiel, owners of the Central Oregon School of Ballet and directors of “The Nutcracker,” are celebrating their 30th anniversary of the production.
In 1892, Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote the iconic music for the Nutcracker, which many listeners have heard at one time or another, but observing the beauty of the ballet enhances the total experience. The people of Central Oregon have had the opportunity to see this piece of art for the past 30 years, and it continues to enrich the education and appreciation of the arts.
Sarah and Zygmunt Sawiel have been dancers most of their lives, and have participated in “The Nutcracker” many times. Sarah mentioned that she has performed in the production since she was seven years old and that she has danced every female role as she grew up.
She met her husband Zygmunt while studying in Germany. They have danced many duet parts, including the Prince and the Sugarplum Fairy. When asked to share impactful moments from the past 30 years, Sarah replied, “watching kids…accomplish something.” Sawiel mentions that discipline is a key part in the growth of a ballet student.
The Central Oregon School of Ballet is a hub for new talent. Since 1981, the Sawiels have been inspiring young dancers to dedicate themselves to the art of ballet. With that comes “The Nutcracker”; these students get to experience first-hand what performing feels like, and it has just as much of an impact on the dancers as it is to the audience.
This production includes around 115 dancers, all of whom are very diverse in age and experience. Amy Kasari, production manager, mentioned that “the mice are the youngest performers in the production.” She includes that one of the cast members has participated in all 30 years of “The Nutcracker.”
The reason this performance is so important is because it connects our hearts to the start of “The Nutcracker”. It inspires and fosters traditions and connects us to the holiday season. It gives us a reason to celebrate the past three decades of enchanting and magical productions.
This production will be taking place on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6 at Bend Senior High School. Tickets are available to purchase online or by phone; the cost of admission for adults are $18 and the cost of admission for children are $8.
Kali Chapin | The Broadside