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Christmas classic switches to virtual format

Published: Dec. 5, 2020 at 9:15 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It’s tradition for Midwest Dance Mechanix. Weeks of learning choreography, perfecting their technique, and being fitted for costumes to make sure their performance of a Christmas classic, The Nutcracker, is on pointe.

Two weeks before curtain call, studio owner Jana Owen learned their live performance couldn’t happen, because of Sedgwick County’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“We originally found out on a Wednesday we were not able to have it in person. And that following Saturday we were supposed to have our first costume try-on. So instead of trying on costumes that day, we filmed our entire show,” Owen said.

She refused to let her dancer’s hours of hard work go to waste. An audience would normally fill the theater at the Wichita Grand Opera to watch The Nutcracker live -- but like many other events in 2020 --it’s gone virtual this year.

You can still watch the dancers saute, pique, and pas de chat across the stage in full hair, makeup, and costumes.

“We had ordered custom-made masks to match all the costumes, but they were not here by the time we were filming, so we made 86 masks in two days.”

While performing for a camera instead of an audience isn’t quite the same, Owen said the safety of her dancers and the community is her top priority.

And while she hopes her dancers will get to see people in the audience again soon, there is a silver lining.

“They adjusted and changed and came together. And to me, that was a real wonderful teaching moment.”

You can buy tickets for The Nutcracker at dancemechanix.biz.

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