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Tewksbury Dancers Embrace The Spirit Of Christmas, As Part Of 'Nutcracker' Cast

Nov 16, 2015 03:52PM ● By Bill Gilman

Dancers Vanessa Flynn and Ariana Perron of Tewksbury are part of the cast of The Nutcracker.

For ballet purists and those who bask in the glow of the holiday season, Christmas means just one thing -- Sugar Plumb Faeries, the wicked Mouse King and a magical Nutcracker come to life.
Once again, the Northeast Dance Center, under the direction of Roshni Pecora, will present Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." Performances will take place at the Methuen Performing Arts Center, Friday, Dec. 4 - 7:30 p.m.,  Saturday, Dec. 5 , 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. 
Included in the remarkably gifted cast are two talented young dancers from Tewksbury. 12-year-old Ariana Perron and 13-year-old Vanessa Flynn, 13.
Ariana, the daughter of Ginny and Jude Perron and Vanessa, the daughter of Katherine and William Flynn, are both 7th grade students at Wynn Middle School.
Friends since kindergarten, Ariana and Vanessa have both been dancing from the time they could walk. Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-hop -- they enjoy it all. But as the leaves turn color and air gets a chill, their thoughts focus on ballet and The Nutcracker.
"I like Nutcracker because you get to dance different parts. It's fun." said Vanessa. She and Ariana, who dance for different dance studios otherwise, heard about the NDC auditions for the 2014 Nutcracker through a friend.
"Last year I was a solider. This year I'm a mouse, a candy cane and an angel," said Ariana.
Vanessa said she was in the party scene last year, while this year she will be a mouse and is an alternate to be a candy cane and an angel.
The company rehearses each Sunday for 4-5 hours. Dancers are also expected to practice their parts on their own during the week. The girls say having danced Nutcracker previously does not make it any less challenging this year.
"It's probably just as hard this year because we are dancing different parts than last year," said Vanessa.
Director/choreographer Roshni Pecora admits putting together a production of the Nutcracker with a large cast of dancers can be daunting. But she wouldn't want to spend her autumn months any other way.
"The spirit of the holidays is kicked off for so many of us with the tradition of the Nutcracker," she said. "There is something about the sounds of the Sugar Plum fairy music that is distinct and signifies the holidays. The idea that in some small way we (at Northeast Dance Center) are able to keep holiday traditions alive means a great deal to me.
"In such a busy world, at the end of the day, family is what is important and I think the Nutcracker helps provide a venue for families to put down their electronics, spend a day or night together and kick off the holiday season together."
For tickets to The Nutcracker, log on to the Northeast Dance Center web site at

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