“The Lion King” play at the Warren Prescott School was one thing for Colin Kurtz and his brother, Nolan, but performing in Boston Ballet’s holiday standby, has been a completely different experience this year.
And oddly enough, less scary than the W-P production.
“It was pretty fun,” said Colin, 10. “I lost my stage fright from when I was in the school play – “The Lion King” at Warren-Prescott,” he said. “I don’t really know why. I guess I’m just not as scared of a big audience. That’s funny too because the Opera House is such a large place and the crowd is so big.”
So far, the boys have performed in two shows and will be in a total of 10 shows by the end of the run, which concludes on Dec. 29. Colin, Nolan, and Chloe Diaz – all who go to the Warren-Prescott School – join 250 other young Boston Ballet School students from around New England in Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker.” Three different casts take on various roles, such as toy soldiers, pages, reindeer, lambs, polichinelles, baby mice, and party children during Boston Ballet’s 41 performances of “The Nutcracker.”
All children performing in “The Nutcracker” are students of Boston Ballet School and coached by an experienced staff including Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, Boston Ballet School Director Margaret Tracey, Children’s Ballet Master Miranda Weese, and Boston Ballet School’s world-renowned faculty.
Colin is playing the role of a Page this year, and Nolan is a ‘Party Sibling’ in the opening Party Scene.
“Well, I’m really enjoying this and I’m really excited because there’s a lot of dancing in my scene,” Nolan, 8, said of his role as a Party Sibling. “The most fun part if getting to be on stage and being noticed when I get to run across the stage. I can’t really see the people in the audience because it’s too dark, but I know they notice me.”
All three students auditioned and started rehearsing for the production in October. They continued rehearsals through November, including rehearsals with Company dancers and costume fittings with Boston Ballet’s Costume Shop. Participating in a full-length ballet is an important performance opportunity for students, exposing them to aspects of ballet they do not experience in a regular class. The students learn about the hard work and enjoyment that composes a live ballet performance, and have the unique opportunity to dance alongside Boston Ballet’s 69 internationally acclaimed professional dancers from around the world.
Colin said he was surprised that he and his brother got into the show.
“I honestly didn’t think I would get in,” he said. “I thought I wasn’t supposed to get in, but I wanted to say that I got to audition at least. Then I did get in and so it was really cool.”
Both Colin and Nolan started dancing at Boston Ballet School two years ago, but Colin started a little earlier through a program for Boston Public School students run at the Warren-Prescott. Now they go full time in addition to their other activities.
Both boys play Charlestown Lacrosse, are on the Ski team, and are on the swimming team at the Boys & Girls Club of Charlestown. In their free time, they enjoy riding bikes to go get ice cream – but only in the summer months.