The holiday season could really be a grind for dancers from Moscow Ballet, who tour the “Great Russian Nutcracker” back and forth across North America, including a stop Dec. 5 at Rochester’s Mayo Civic Center.
“We have 50 performances in the United States and Canada,” said Mariia Skoruk, a dancer and audition director with Moscow Ballet. “We sometimes do three performances in one day. We are tired, but we love it. We love the travel; we love the dancing. For me, the ballet is the style of my life.”
It’s been that way for Skoruk since she started dancing as a 5-year-old in her hometown of Kiev, Ukraine. By the age of 10, she was invited to attend the ballet school of the Kiev State Opera and Ballet Theater. Upon graduation, she joined the Kiev State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, dancing roles in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Swan Lake,” “Don Quixote” and other classic ballets.
Now, Skoruk is in her second year with Moscow Ballet, dancing various roles in the “Great Russian Nutcracker,” as well as auditioning students in the markets where Moscow Ballet performs. Those students audition for roles in their hometown performance of the “Great Russian Nutcracker,” where they dance alongside Moscow Ballet’s 40 professionals.
For the Rochester performance, Moscow Ballet has auditioned students from the Acclaim Studio of Dance in Austin. The young dancers, ages 7-16, will have roles as party children, mice and show maidens in Act I and Russian, Chinese, French, Spanish and Arabian dancers in Act II.
Acclaim dancers who will take part in the Rochester production are: Rebeka Yunker, Hannah Blust, Alexis Forsberg, Abigail Nelson, Tyra Lindholm, Veronica Peterson, Margaret Parks, Rachel Engelstad, Mia Lindholm, Catryna Lindholm-Sullivan, Paige Lindholm-Sullivan, River Landers, Hannah Troe, Zoe Gorton, Haley Lenway, Dominique Lenway, Bri Shea, Kirsten Koopal, Grace Vorthurms, Skye Anderley, Seanna Kubas, Annelise Batdorf, Elayna Blust, Ashlyn Blust, Ava Hoebing, Emily Goskeson and Maggi Steele.