Latino presence in Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Ariel-Cisneros_WebThe Ruth Page Civic Ballet will present its 10th season of The Nutcracker this holiday season. Ariel Cisneros, born in Cuba, will play the Snow King in this year’s production. This is his fifth time dancing for the company. He received his training at the Professional School of Arts in Havana and Camaguey in Cuba. In 1996, he joined Cleveland Ballet and has subsequently danced with Kentucky Ballet Theater and San Jose Ballet.  In 2004, he made his debut as a soloist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Aida and Carmen, and is a former member of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.  EXTRA talked to Cisneros about the production and his role in it.

EXTRA: What has your experience been like dancing for Ruth Page Civic Ballet?
Ariel Cisneros: I consider it the best company in Chicago. The people working here are the best.

What is your role in it?

I am the Snow King. The music of the part that I do is so beautiful and powerful. The role is incredible. To be part of “The Nutcracker” is an honor and a big pressure. It is a big production. I feel like I am in the best “Nutcracker” [in Chicago].

How would you compare your Joffrey Ballet experience to the Ruth Page Civic Ballet?

Joffrey Ballet is an international renowned dance company and we can’t compare it. The focus is more on the professional ballet company. Ruth Page is a studio that brings the talent to dance. It is a different type of company. In Joffrey, I was a full-time dancer. I am a guest artist here. Also, Ruth’s is not a big production. It uses toys rather than actors, which makes it different. Joffrey’s is more of a dance production. Both companies are very enjoyable to dance in.

What makes “The Nutcracker” a holiday tradition?

I think it’s a traditional ballet performance to remember the Christmas holiday. If you want a good gift, it will be unforgettable. There is a lot of magic in the ballet.

What advice can you give to young ballet dancers?

Dance all the time, practice all the time. Nothing happens overnight. It takes constant repetition to develop a skill. You have to bring out your passion for dance. You have to bring that and with hard work everybody will love you and respect you more.

“The Nuctracker” will take place on Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. and on Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. at the College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. Tickets range from $12-$30. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.jlc.clcillinois.edu.

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