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North Bend dancer on 'Nutcracker' stage
Ten-year-old home school student Sydney Yenokida of North Bend answered the call of dance duty this holiday season.
As a soldier in the Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of The Nutcracker, Sydney marches onstage and battles the mouse army of the evil Rat King.
"We fight the mice," she said. "Sometimes, they kill us. Sometimes, we kill them.
"Getting killed is really fun, because you get dragged offstage," Sydney added.
Sydney enjoys watching the grown-up dancers do their part. Her favorite part of Nutcracker is the party scene, but Sydney doesn't take part; when others are dancing, she is behind the scenes, getting her costume ready and making sure she knows her part.
While this is her first experience in the ballet, The Nutcracker is a family tradition for Sydney.
"My mom and I always go," she said.
"It's a great privilege," said Sydney's mother, Erika. Her daughter, who attends classes with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, gets an "awesome opportunity" this holiday season to dance at the Seattle Center stage.
Sydney hopes to return to the Pacific Northwest Ballet stage next Christmas for another round of Nutcracker.
The Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of the Nutcracker opened Nov. 27 and continues through Dec. 30. Composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreography in the Seattle production is by Kent Stowell, with costume and set designs by Maurice Sendak, creator of "Where the Wild Things Are."
Taking the stage are the ballet's entire company of professional dancers, 37 professional division students and over 200 students from Pacific Northwest Ballet School.
The performance takes place at the Seattle Center's McCaw Hall.
To learn more or book tickets, visit www.pnb.org.