AIRING LOCALLY ON KPTS IN DECEMBER
Even though we can’t be in the theatre to experience the magic of the Nutcracker in person… the show must go on! Midwest Dance Mechanix is proud to bring the magic of its “Short & Suite” Nutcracker into your home this holiday season! Experience the beauty, artistry and magic of this classic holiday ballet from the comfort of your own home. Plus, enjoy our special bonus “Behind the Curtain Suite Peeks”, cast & choreographer interviews, and more! Watch from any device or on your Smart TV via YouTube.
VIRTUAL EVENT TICKET: $25 / family
"suite treats at home" gift basket
“Suite-en” your watch party experience with a special “Suite Treats” party pack featuring an assortment of seven different freshly baked delectable desserts from the Land of Sweets, Nutcracker t-shirt (while supplies last), Sugarplum Sparkle Hair Clip from local business Avery & Grey, Nutcracker toy, and a commemorative 2020 Nutcracker ornament. Enjoy these delicious treats and follow the story while you watch with our interactive program, complete with lots of Nutcracker activities, cast photos and autographs, a letter to Santa kit and more! There is something for everyone in this special hand curated basket of fun!
PICK UP AND DELIVERY OPTIONS:
Gift Baskets can be picked up at Midwest Dance Mechanix on Friday, December 4th between 12:30 and 5:30 pm.
Have your gift basket delivered to your door by one of our cast members, complete with costume! Cast member delivery is available for an added fee and baskets will be delivered on Friday, December 4th between 12:30 and 5:30 pm
SUITE TREATS GIFT BASKET: $35
POINTE SHOE DECORATING KIT
"Give a child the right shoe and they can conquer the world"... or at least have fun decorating it!
Watching ballerinas float across the stage on their toes is not only beautiful, but fascinating! With this special craft kit, children of all ages (and even those who are "young at heart") will have an opportunity to see what a pointe shoe looks and feels like while they create their own Nutcracker memory. Kit includes a painted pointe shoe, ribbon, lace and all the sparkly embellishments needed to turn it into a creative work of art. Create while you watch... this craft kit is sure to keep you on your toes!
POINTE SHOE DECORATING KIT: $15
THE SUGARPLUM FAIRY & ME... An INTERACTIVE DANCE EXPERIENCE
Join the Sugarplum Fairy on a virtual adventure through the Land of Sweets to learn some of her favorite ballet steps in this live, interactive, and fun filled virtual dance class. Wear your favorite dance attire and prepare to be delighted! Dancing with the Sugarplum Fairy is the perfect way to end your at home Nutcracker experience!
Class length: 45 minutes
Class venue: ZOOM
2 classes for the recommended ages:
Ages 2 - 5 Class:
Sunday, December 6th from 4:00 - 4:45 pm
Ages 6 - 10 class:
Sunday, December 6th from 5:00 - 5:45 pm
Space is limited
SUGARPLUM FAIRY & ME EXPERIENCE: $15
CAST HOME DELIVERY
Have your "Suite Treats At Home" Gift Basket and/or Pointe Shoe Decorating Kit delivered to your front door by a member of the cast. Cast member will be in full costume and will be available to take an outdoor picture provided that both parties wear face coverings.
Deliveries will take place on
Friday, December 4, 2020
between 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm.
AT HOME CAST DELIVERY: $10
2020 KEEPSAKE DVD OR USB
2020 is definitely a year to remember! Order your keepsake DVD or USB file and savor the memories for years to come!
THE CHALLENGE OF 2020...
Despite the challenges of Covid, Midwest Dance Mechanix embarked on a hopeful quest to bring its 3rd annual "Short & Suite Nutcracker" back to the stage for live audiences to enjoy in December 2020. For several months, the well known music of the Nutcracker Suite filled the walls of the MDM studios every Saturday as the cast learned choreography and prepared to perform. On November 11, 2020, Sedgwick County released an emergency health order limiting "mass gatherings" to 100 people. Knowing this health order would affect its planned live performances in December, MDM submitted a detailed Covid safety plan to the city of Wichita for approval to perform for a limited live audience of 100 people per show. On November 18, 2020, MDM learned that its plan was not approved. And just like that, with only 2 1/2 weeks before the scheduled performances, the music stopped.
But only for a moment.
Artistic Director and studio owner, Jana Owen, refused to give up on finding an opportunity for the 86 member cast to showcase their hard work and bring the magic of this holiday tradition to families in the community. And so a new quest was launched... to perform the ballet on stage in two short days and record it so that family and friends could still enjoy the magic of the Nutcracker this season... even if it had to be from home. Costumes had not been tried on yet, choreography had not been completely set, and several cast members were in quarantine due to Covid exposure.
Despite the incredible challenges and crazy timeline, Jana Owen and her staff were determined that
THE SHOW MUST GO ON!
In two days time, backdrops were hung, new props were created, the stage was decorated, cast members gathered, face masks were created, costumes were sewn, new choreography was set, understudies learned new parts, and the magic of the beloved Nutcracker came to life on the stage on November 21, 2020.
Midwest Dance Mechanix is proud to offer its 3rd Annual Short & Suite Nutcracker to you from the comfort of your home this year. It was a monumental undertaking and we hope that as you watch, you will know that even though it was not how we planned and was not as complete or as technical as we would have liked had we enjoyed those last weeks of rehearsals, it still filled the souls of our cast & faculty to hear the music fill the walls of the theatre at least once this year. It is our hope that it fills your home with a similar joy this holiday season.
CHOREOGRAHY & PERFORMANCE...
Featuring the breathtaking Snow Scene choreography of local Ballet legend, STAN ROGERS, as well as
whimsical original choreography by JANA OWEN, this Nutcracker may be abbreviated in length,
but is certainly not short on quality, professionalism and pure holiday magic!
The Short & Suite Nutcracker has a running time of approximately 60 minutes.
It features dancers ranging in age from 6 - 18 who are members of Midwest Dance Mechanix' two speciality performance companies as well as several special Guest Artists in featured roles.
VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE TIMES:
Friday, December 4th: 6 pm
Saturday, December 5th: 2 pm
Saturday, December 5th: 6 pm
Saturday, December 5th: 8 pm
Sunday, December 6th: 2 pm
The comfort of your own home!
SNEEK PEEK of OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGE
A MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR - 11.23.20
UPDATED 2020 PRESS RELEASE
November 30, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WICHITA, KS - Midwest Dance Mechanix began working on its 3rd annual Short & Suite Nutcracker production in August and set its performance dates for the first weekend in December. Knowing that Covid would be a factor, Jana Owen, studio owner and artistic director, started making modifications and plans for Covid safety early. She required dancers to wear masks during rehearsals so that their bodies could adapt to the increased physical challenge. She purchased infrared body scanners to be used at the theatre doors to quickly scan the body temperatures of all audience members. She mapped out the theatre so that the audience would be limited and social distancing could be managed. And she pushed forward; hoping to bring the magic of the Nutcracker to the Wichita community in a year that has been void of much celebration. “In a year when so much has been taken from kids and families, I didn’t want the tradition of the Nutcracker to be something that was taken from them as well. And I believed we could do it in a safe manner”, said Owen.
But her plans and hopes weren’t enough. When Sedgwick County released its emergency health order in mid-November limiting mass gatherings, she knew her planned performances would be affected. So she submitted a lengthy and detailed Covid health safety plan to the city requesting approval to hold the Nutcracker with an audience limited to 100 guests. Her request was denied. But that didn’t stop her.
Owen and her team have become experts at quickly changing course to adapt to Covid. She immediately launched a new plan to perform the Short & Suite Nutcracker for a film crew instead of a live audience. And with that film, she would have the opportunity to invite the Wichita community to bring the magic of the Nutcracker into their homes this year, via an online event. “I could not allow the hard work of the dancers to be in vain. Even if it wasn’t the way it was meant to be, having the opportunity to showcase their hard work was so important to them. And to me”, said Owen.
2 1/2 weeks prior to the intended performances, on a day that had been set aside for the cast to try on their costumes for the first time, the 86 member cast gathered at the Wichita Grand Opera stage instead. In a quick span of 3 days, Owen and her team made 86 masks to match the costumes, taught the dancers new choreography, decorated and set the stage, hired a film crew, altered costumes, created socially distanced floor markings throughout the theatre, called in understudies for dancers in quarantine, and set out to finish what she started in August. And the show went on!
And now she’s bringing it to the Wichita community in an online format. And much like her live performances, Owen wants her “at home audience” to experience extra magic while they watch. She is offering “Suite Treat” baskets filled with fresh baked treats and Nutcracker fun, pointe shoe decorating kits, delivery to your home by costumed cast members, and a chance to take an interactive virtual dance class with the Sugarplum Fairy. “Our Nutcracker has become an interactive experience and we wanted that to remain a part of our virtual show as well.” In addition to the 60 minute filmed Nutcracker performance, tickets include a bonus “behind the curtain” segment as well as cast and choreographer interviews and chats. “There are lots of special extras in our virtual packages and we hope that they help bring the magic of the Nutcracker into as many homes as possible this season,” said Owen.
Event: Short & Suite Nutcracker
Date & Time: December 4th: 6 pm, December 5th: 2 pm, 6 pm and 8 pm, and December 6th: 2 pm
At home package options start at $25 and cam be purchased online at www.dancemechanix.biz/nutcracker.
ORIGINAL 2020 PRESS RELEASE
October 31, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Socially Distanced Show Will Go On!
With limited capacities and many safety measures in place, the Short & Suite Nutcracker will hit the stage for its
3rd annual run and promises to bring an abundance of holiday magic to kids of all ages!
WICHITA, KS - After nearly selling out all four performances last December during its 2nd annual run, Midwest Dance Mechanix is excited to bring its “Short & Suite Nutcracker” back to the stage this December, complete with all the necessary COVID-19 safety procedures required by local governing authorities. The “Short & Suite Nutcracker” is more than a ballet performance though… it’s a complete holiday experience!
Jana Owen, Artistic Director and owner of Midwest Dance Mechanix, strives to offer the Wichita community a Nutcracker option that is appealing to audiences of all ages, including young children. “To me, the Nutcracker is magical! Watching the story unfold through the eyes of a child is my favorite”, said Owen. Her “suite” twist on the the classic holiday ballet is performed in an abbreviated format, utilizing voiced narration during the musical interludes to keep children engaged in the magical story of dancing dolls, sparkling snowflakes and mischievous mice. “My vision is to create an artistic story that will be enjoyed by very young children as well as the young at heart; by ballet experts as well as first time audience members”, said Owen.
But it’s more than just a ballet… Owen wants guests to enjoy extra holiday magic so she’s offering them a socially distanced opportunity to visit “Santa’s Toyshop” where they can safely chat with Santa behind his “workshop window” and deliver a wish list to him. After the curtain closes, guests are invited to interact, socially distanced, with the cast for autographs and Nutcracker signings. There will be an abundance of sugar in the “Land of Sweets Shoppe” and holiday magic sprinkled everywhere you look. “Even though things may look a little different this year, we plan to offer our limited audiences a complete holiday experience so that they leave with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads”, said Owen.
Despite the challenges of the current pandemic, it was important to Owen to find a way to safety offer this special holiday tradition to the Wichita community. “We have invested a lot of time and resources into determining how to safely offer this performance”, said Owen. Infrared temperature scans at the door, required face coverings for volunteers and audience members, socially distanced theatre seating, very limited audience capacities and strict sanitation procedures are all policies that have been thoughtfully implemented. “We want our guests to know that we have gone to great lengths to keep this event safe for everyone”, said Owen.
While the performance is shorter in length than most Nutcrackers, it is not short on quality or professionalism. Owen has teamed up again with local ballet legend and former Director of Friends University Ballet Department, Stan Rogers, to create the beautiful and classic choreography and costuming. The “Short & “Suite Nutcracker” features approximately 90 dancers, ranging in age from 7 - 18, from Midwest Dance Mechanix’ two specialty performance companies as well as several guest artists in featured roles. After the rave reviews it has received the past two seasons, the 3rd annual Short & Suite Nutcracker is expected to sell out quickly this year!
Event: Short & Suite Nutcracker
Date & Time: December 4th: 6 pm, December 5th: 2 pm and 6 pm, and December 6th: 3 pm
Location: Wichita Grand Opera Theatre
9112 E. Central Ave. Wichita, KS 67206
Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for children and can be purchased online at www.dancemechanix.biz/nutcracker. Seating is limited to less than 50% capacity so online advance purchasing is recommended.
For more information, visit www.dancemechanix.biz/nutcracker