Moscow Ballet

Hailed as a “knockout, brimful with feeling” by the New York Times, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker will head to the Sun City this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 23-24.

For the show’s 25th season, this production will have some new special elements, said 19-year old Ukrainian dancer and audition director Romana Dumanska.

“First of all, there are scenes that you’ve never seen in any Nutcracker show before,” Dumanska said. “In the second act, there are two dancers dancing with 26 wings and it looks so great, the wings looks like one dancer!”

There will be a life-sized matryoshka (nesting dolls) and the Russian troika sleigh – “the fastest in the world!”

The costumes will definitely not disappoint, either.

“There are big dresses, a 60-foot Christmas tree, 40 dancers – it is really nice,” Dumanska said. “This is one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen.”

The set is made up of five hand-painted backdrops designed by “La La Land” concept designer Carl Sprague.

Dancing since age of 3, Dumanska graduated from the Lviv College of Arts and Culture and currently teaches dance at her alma matter. This is her first year with the Moscow Ballet.

“I like the USA so much,” she said. “It is my first time here. It is nice work with Moscow Ballet because our organization and everything is great.”

Another special element to Moscow Ballet’s 25th season is the collaboration with dancers from every city they perform in. The audition process was nothing short of nail-biting.

“It’s really nice being the audition director,” Dumanska said. “On the first day we have auditions, it’s hard for the children. It is two hours long. They’re nervous and don’t know what to expect. But when we meet, they’re like, ‘It’s great!’”

The auditions were held at the Las Cruces School of Dance and Music. More than 30 local children ages 7-17 will be in the Plaza Theatre show.

Life on the road can be a bit difficult, but Romana’s family supports her dream.

“Sometimes, parents say, ‘Ballet is not a job; it’s just dance,’” she said. “But actually, it’s a hard job. My parents say, ‘The most important thing in life is to do what you love.’ My parents support me all the time, and when I feel tired, they tell me they believe in me and that I’ll do great. I’m a really lucky one.”