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The Nutcracker Circus Extravaganza

The Nutcracker Circus Extravaganza


December 26th, 2019

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the MOTH Poetic Circus brought Denver heaps of Christmas cheer. This past December 22, the Party Guru Press team arrived at The Newman Center for the Performing Arts and witnessed a truly spectacular rendering of The Nutcracker. Directed by Deena Marcum Selko, the MOTH Poetic Circus transformed the E.T.A Hoffmann ballet classic into a circus extravaganza.

Deena Marcum Selko, artistic director, created The MOTH Circus’ The Nutcracker Circus. Selko has spent two decades performing as a circus artist and the last decade directing. When Selko was young, she started out in the big apple where she earned her BFA in dance, with a focus on contemporary ballet specifically. Eventually, the dance prodigy found a love for the circus performing arts through Anti-Gravity in New York, which carried her into a long, successful career as a circus performer. Selko has performed all around the globe while touring for infamous acts like Cirque Le Masque, Cirque Legacy, Nimble Arts, and Cirque Fantasies.

Movement of the Heart

In 2008, Selko set to create MOTH (Movement of the Heart) Poetic Circus after a lifetime of aspiring to morph the holiday classic into a unique circus display. After years of performing in the theatre, young Selko, age ten, dreamed of creating a Nutcracker circus. These days the charming holiday special has just celebrated its third year in Denver, and it’s set to become a tradition.

The Nutcracker

For those of you unfamiliar with the holiday classic, The Nutcracker and the King of Mice was written by E.T.A. Hoffman. The story has gone through a bit of a metamorphosis over the years, but the core of the tale remains the same. It’s Christmas Eve and young Clara’s family is hosting their annual Christmas party. The young girl receives a dashing wooden Nutcracker that becomes an instant hit of her family party. As the moon rises high in the sky, young Clara subsequently falls asleep with her beloved nutcracker in her arms.

At the stroke of midnight, Clara’s world suddenly shifts. She starts to shrink as all the Christmas toys surrounding her begin to animate and come to life. Clara startles awake only to see she is encompassed by toys and an army of mice lead by a crowned Mouse King. After that, the Nutcracker springs to life and into battle head-to-head with his furry foe. After a long battle the Nutcracker rises in victory as the Mouse King’s lifeless body finally hits the ground. Once the Mouse King passes, a curse is lifted from the nutcracker and he transforms into a handsome prince.

Visions of Sugar Plums

The prince escorts Clara on a long journey to the Land of Snow where they are greeted by glorious dancing snowflakes. The pair then head to the Land of the Sweets, where they meet a Sugar Plum Fairy who celebrates their victory with a collection of dances. Naturally, the night draws to an end and Clara awakens from her slumber to find her wooden nutcracker in her arms. She realizes it was all just a dream.

Creative and Colorful Showcase

The MOTH Poetic Circus created a colorful Nutcracker showcase featuring a variety of aerial acrobatics, pole dance, flow arts, and carefully choreographed dance numbers. Claire Tanager disguised as the Mouse King, provided a flawless pole performance. The performance consisted of a powerful display of strength and grace. Tanager effortlessly spun around the pole, rising up and down with complete poise. The Snow Queen, played by Kristina Shelton, rose high above the stage while posed on an aerial hoop. She glided through the air exquisitely while contorting her body in a variety of beautiful shapes. Performers Stephan Choiniere and Tsvetelina Tabakova arrived to the stage clothed in dazzling Arabian costumes. The couple’s performance was a product of Arabian-inspired choreography and lust. The sensational performance absolutely immersed the audience in an eclectic trance.

As the grand performance was coming to an end, beautiful silks of every hue began to rise high above the crowd. Following the rising silks were rising performers, accompanied by none other than Clara played by Serafina Walker. The group spectacle provided a vibrant presentation of aerial silk acrobatics in synchronization. By the end of the Nutcracker Circus the entire crowd was on their feet, cheering. The audience gifted MOTH Poetic Circus with an absolute standing ovation.

The MOTH Poetic Circus created an absolutely breathtaking experience. If you missed out on this year’s performance, don’t fret. The MOTH Poetic Circus doesn’t stop after their traditional Christmas special. The talented fleet have additional shows up and coming! Check out their website for information on performers, classes, camps, and upcoming shows.

Photos by Kate Chamers

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