WANT TO GO?
Presented by: The Charleston Ballet and West Virginia Symphony Orchestra
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Clay Center
TICKETS: Adults $20-$50, children $9-$30
INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.theclaycenter.orgCHARLESTON, W.va. -- Lauren Frere and Oleksandr Vykhrest of the Columbia (S.C.) Classical Ballet should be quite comfortable when they dance the Arabian Dance together during "The Nutcracker" this weekend at the Clay Center. They're a couple off stage as well as on.
They're not the only ballet couple in the performance, either. Jesse Tidquist and Rob Royce, both of The Charleston Ballet, are also a couple.
They'll dance separately: she as the lead in the Spanish Dance and in the Flower and Snow Corps, and he as a father at the party and a mouse in the battle scene. They've never danced a pas de deux together, but they will for the first time in Carnaval Rio at the Clay Center in January.
Although Frere has danced the Arabian Dance many times, this will be the first time she's danced it with Vykhrest. The Charleston performance marks the couple's third "Nutcracker" performance this season. They've danced the Sugarplum Fairy together with the Columbia and Sarasota ballet companies earlier this year.
They're not ideal partners height-wise because they're about the same height, but Frere still relishes opportunities to dance with Vykhrest.
"I'm very trusting of him. I know what he's going to do and he knows what I'm going to do," she said. "I also know he has my very best interests at heart because he cares for me."
The downside is that she might voice her frustration more quickly than she would with another colleague. "You might say things that you wouldn't say to anyone else."
Frere and Vykhrest met five years ago when Frere first joined the Sarasota Ballet. It was her first professional position, and she was concentrating on learning the ropes. Vykhrest, who had emigrated from the Ukraine to join the Sarasota Ballet two years before, immediately noticed her.