By Joe Johnson
Local Precision dance troupe The Carolina Snowbelles are headed to the newly renovated Appalachian Theatre to debut their renowned holiday show on December 13 at 7:30 p.m. and December 14 at 3:00 p.m.
The Carolina Snowbelles aim to create a new holiday tradition in downtown Boone with their production of A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas this weekend; the 22-member dance troupe has been rehearsing this 90 minute show since August – their most ambitious and comprehensive performance to date. A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas will feature precision tap and jazz, vocal performance, and ballet, as well as spoken word and audience interaction. Throughout the performance, audience members will experience the Snowbelles’ impressive precision dance and spectacular costuming along with two brand new scenes featuring choreography by New York City Ballet alumnus, Amanda Edge and Colorado Ballet alumnus, Brad Parquette.
Amanda Edge and her husband built a second home in Valle Crucis and met Cheryl Cutlip, director of the Carolina Snowbelles, through mutual friends. Eventually, Edge was invited to choreograph a new ten minute scene to be shown before the finale of A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas. Edge knew immediately the message of kindness that she wanted to represent with her new scene. “When Cheryl asked me to join the Christmas production, I agreed right away and I told her from the beginning that The Little Drummer Boy is one of my favorite Christmas songs,” said Edge, “I’ve always loved the message of the story. Cheryl agreed that the holiday season can get very commercial sometimes, and the simplicity of the story of the Little Drummer Boy is refreshing! He doesn’t have the gold or frankincense or myrrh of the three wise men, he is a lowly child without wealth or means or stature; he just has himself and his talent.”
Edge brings new and experienced talent to the staff that all work together to ensure Carolina Snowbelle performances run as efficiently and extravagantly as they always do. Edge also emphasized the familial aspects that exist behind-the-scenes during Carolina Snowbelle productions. “My husband and I were professional dancers in New York; I was with the New York City Ballet for 15 years and he danced at New York City Opera for a little over 25 years,” said Edge, “We both went to North Carolina School of the Arts many years ago; my husband is from Louisiana and he always said ‘I know what hurricanes can do, I don’t want a place on the coast.’ We found a little lot in Valle Crucis that was for sale and built a modest home there as a respite from Manhattan; it’s like the anti-NYC! The space at Project Dance has a wonderful faculty; it’s a small school but it is growing every day. It is a wonderful faculty and each offers their own contribution to to the whole to make it special and well rounded. Cheryl brought me in to focus on the ballet part of training with the other wonderful ballet teacher, Brad Parquette, who also has a brand new scene added to Christmas show. There’s tap, there’s jazz, and it’s a great little family of instructors!”
Whether you want to experience the waves of Christmas joy emanating from the Appalachian Theatre stage, want to witness the precision dancing expertise of the Carolina Snowbelles, or just simply love the holiday spirit, attend the debut performance of A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas this Friday and Saturday to see the beginning of what is sure to become a holiday tradition in the High Country!
Family, friends, and supporters are welcome to attend the show and tickets are on sale now. Visit apptheatre.org or call (828) 865-3000 to reserve your seat.
As a scholarship program of the nonprofit Project Dance Foundation, young dancers who earn a position with The Carolina Snowbelles through an audition process participate solely on merit. Your support is needed in order for this program to continue. Join those who celebrate young local artists by giving a tax-deductible donation to the Project Dance Foundation, c/o The Carolina Snowbelles, 276-H Watauga Village Drive, Suite 139, Boone, NC 28607 and more information can be found at THECAROLINASNOWBELLES.COM