Marysville girl stars in 'The Nutcracker'

Marysville's Chloe O'Loughlin, 11, will play the part of Clara in Ballet Bellevue's production of 'The Nutcracker' Dec. 18 and 19.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Karen Van Til.

BELLEVUE — A Marysville girl will get to shine in the spotlight in an area adaptation of a much-beloved holiday classic.

Chloe O'Loughlin, 11, will play the part of Clara in Ballet Bellevue's production of "The Nutcracker," which will also feature a live orchestra playing Tchaikovsky's score.

O'Loughlin auditioned in October for the role, but she's been dancing since she was three years old and began receiving informal training at an even earlier age.

"My aunt, who's with Ballet Bellevue, started my ballet practice when I was nine months old," O'Loughlin laughed. "When I was still lying in my crib, she'd move my feet into first position, second position and so on."

O'Loughlin, who's been with Ballet Bellevue for the past couple of years, got to perform in "The Nutcracker" last year in a variety of roles, ranging from a soldier to Clara's understudy. Karen Van Til, a spokesperson for Ballet Bellevue, explained that O'Loughlin was chosen to play Clara this year not only because she's at an ideal age for the role, but also because she's "mature enough to interpret the beauty, magic and mystery of her role."

"It's really fun," O'Loughlin said of performing in "The Nutcracker." "I get to work with a great director, and I love dance. It gives me a sense of purpose, like I'm just meant to be there."

O'Loughlin has enjoyed portraying Clara's character arc through the story of "The Nutcracker" as well.

"When she comes in, she doesn't know what's going on and she's not perfect," said O'Loughlin, who praised the production's "unique" dancing and its live orchestra. "I've learned from doing this that anything is possible."

"The dream to be Clara may come true only once or possibly twice in the life of a young girl," Van Til said.

O'Loughlin and other children from the Ballet Bellevue school will share the stage with Ballet Bellevue company dancers and local guest artists to perform this holiday favorite with the Eastside's only live "Nutcracker" orchestra.

Ballet Bellevue's production of "The Nutcracker" takes place Dec. 18 and 19, at 2 and 7 p.m. both days, at the Sammamish Performing Arts Center, located at 100 140th St. SE in Bellevue. Ticket prices are $22 for students or seniors 62 years or older, $37 for adults and $45 for VIP seating. For tickets, call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006 or log onto their website. For information and group discounts of $2 off for parties of 10 or more, call Ballet Bellevue at 425-455-1345 or log onto their website.

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