If visions of sugarplums are dancing in the heads of young citizens of Jamestown, it's happening for a very good reason.
On Friday evening, the Chautauqua Region Youth Ballet opened their annual production of ''Nutcracker,'' the magical Christmas ballet to music by Tchaikovsky which tells a story of fantasy, then follows that with complex and beautiful dancing by people dressed as flowers, candy canes, ginger snaps and more.
The ballet was staged for the company by their artistic director, Monika Alch. The program was highlighted by performances by a pair of top professional dancers from New York City Ballet and featured appearances by dozens upon dozens of students and adults from the community.
Erica Pereira and Daniel Ulbricht were the professionals who performed the George Balanchine choreography of the pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Ms. Pereira demonstrated extraordinary footwork and a graceful line. Her ability to stand alone for a very long while on the very tip of the toes of one foot won a gasp from the audience.
Ulbricht demonstrated great physical strength as well as an ability to move as though he didn't need to touch the ground. His turns were faster and more powerful than I've seen in a great many performances of the role.
Jordan Spencer was the magical godfather who gave the little girl of the story the enchanted nutcracker which inspires all the dancing.Megan Stefanik was lovely as young Clara.
Shawn Sprankle demonstrated some impressive gymnastics in the Russian variation of the second act and brought dignity and elegance to the role of the Nutcracker itself, come to life. Len Barry was much fun as the pompous Mother Ginger, who keeps her little ginger snaps tucked safely under her massive skirts.
Brittany Bush performed the Arabian variation of the second act with grace and style, accompanied by Emma Jane Anderson, Lydia Everett, Hannah Griffith and Brittney Hensen.
I'm going to try to name all the students who participated and to spell their names right. If I name one twice, or leave someone out, or accidentally include an adult participant in the list of students, I sincerely apologize in advance. It was assuredly not done on purpose.
Dancers were Emily Rose Mager, Liam Pickreign, Lauren Hendrick, Isabelle Meyers, Quinn Taylor, Cate Walter, Mackenzie Zuech, Amelia Dolce, Anna Paterniti, Caroline Walter, and Sydney Wendel,Isyss Smith and Alyzza Zuech.
Also, Victoria Hennessey, Valeri Nasca, Emilee Shafer, Zachary Zuech, Grace McMillan, Maya Swanson, Grace Cline, Zoe Di Vincenzo, Ani Duffee, Cecelia Eklum, Leilani Foster, Elisabeth Meyer, Briona Raj, Quinn Taylor, Olivia Allen, Yseyldt Balcom, Joslyn Brown, Grace Carr, Belle Johnson, Madeleine Leenders and Arrington Restivo.
And, of course, there were Ruby Schneider, Sara Sokolski, Toreion Leeper, Maisy Chang, Mariah Crandall, Emma Schrecengost, Elizabeth Schrecengost, Tiara Skinner, Cecelia Johnson, Hannah Anderson, Kate Barry, Justice Edens and Kortney Constantino-Young.
Also, Jennifer Barczak, Rachel Corbelli, Kaitlin Healy, Madeleine Jones, Anjali-Aditi Oza, Caroline Walter, Olivia Bacon, Faith Long, Nolah Hamilton, Sydney Wendell, JJ Moore and Tiara Skinner.
I think I got them all. They all did a super job. If I skipped someone by mistake, send me an email and I'll give the additional name or names in my next column. It was a magical evening - the sort of thing of which dreams are made.