Aara Krumpe performs as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.
All little girls dream of dancing in her shoes. They’ve watched as she enters ever so gracefully onto the stage, they’ve sat enthralled during her pas de deux with the dangerously handsome prince, and they’ve all left saying “that’s what I want to be when I grow up.”
I remember being four years old, leaving my first production of The Nutcracker, and thinking the exact same thing. Who hasn’t dreamed of dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy at some point in their lives? It’s the role of a lifetime that every young prima ballerina aspires to be and for Ballet Austin’s Ashley Lynn Gilfiz and Aara Krumpe, starring in this years’ production of The Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy is “a dream come true.”
What’s your history performing The Nutcracker?
ALG: I was thirteen when I did my first Nutcracker back at home in Chicago and I was a Soldier. I was kind of just getting started in a pre-professional program, so, I was a little behind; I wasn’t ready to do pointe work. Since I’ve been dancing at Ballet Austin I’ve done Snow Queen, and Arabian, and Sugar Plum Fairy.
AK: My first Nutcracker was when I was ten in Corpus Christi, Texas with the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet and I was a Party Girl… I was actually here the season that Stephen choreographed this production of The Nutcracker, so I was an original member of the Snow Corps and the Waltz of the Flower Corps.
Ashley Lynn Gilfix performs as the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker.
Explain the significance of The Nutcracker in a dancer’s career.
ALG: It’s an opportunity to come back to something every year and you can look at it in two ways: you can look at it as, you know, over and over, or you can look as it as here’s my opportunity to come back to something that I’ve done a years worth of work in between and where am I this year and what can I add and what can I bring to the stage this time?
AK: I personally love The Nutcracker! It’s just nice to have something in your season that you do every year and this is the production where we do the most number of shows and it’s really an opportunity as an artist to improve technically from season to season and to improve your artistry.
What does it mean to you to perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker?
ALG: It’s a dream come true really. I think the first ballet I ever saw was The Nutcracker when I was little and I was already dancing at the time but not seriously. And I was always really inspired when we would come home from seeing The Nutcracker. And that was one of the things that made me really consider being a dancer.
AK: It’s a very special honor when you’ve reached that point in your career as a professional dancer to dance that roll and fulfill your dreams; it’s a very nice, special moment.
These are only excerpts from the interviews we conducted with Aara and Ashley so stay tuned to our blog to see the full video!