Georgia College Front Page

Nutcracker director honored for 20th anniversary of “The Nutcracker”


Dr. Dorman presents the Community Engagement Award to Amelia Pelton

In the minutes leading up to The Nutracker’s” premiere 2016 performance Amelia Pelton, the production’s artistic director, is out among the seats of Russell Auditorium greeting audience members. She’s easy to spot in her festive red sequined jacket adorned with a glittering holiday wreath broach. What you can’t tell by the smile and twinkle in her eyes is that, just minutes before, she was putting out a thousand fires.

Pelton works tirelessly to bring the cast of 240 people ranging from ages three and older for a single weekend of magic. And there’s a lot that can go wrong and often does; stage fright, injuries, toddlers who don’t want to leave their parents, flu season and kids stressed because of exams.

But on this particular premiere, Georgia College President Steve Dorman is waiting in the audience to give a little bit of that magic that she’s worked 20 years to create, back to her in the form of a Community Engagement Award.

“The award recognizes her years of service as a teacher, dedication to enhancing the performing arts on campus and development of successful community events, such as ‘The Nutcracker’,” said Dance Professor and Production Manager Natalie King. As part of her outreach efforts, Pelton’s dancers provide free dance classes to underprivileged children at The Boys & Girls Club and at local schools, as well as annual performances at local nursing homes and the Georgia War Veteran’s Home.

“This is something that Dr. Dorman wants,” said Pelton. “He wants us out doing that so that we aren’t just a little capsule here at Georgia College. We want to reach out and engage with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Kiwanis, Rotary. We’re constantly going out and bringing dance to people.”

All of that outreach culminates year after year in a three-day marathon of performances of Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet, “The Nutcracker,” which is a gargantuan effort that begins planning for the next year immediately following the current year’s production.

“Russell was built as a lecture hall in 1910 with no dressing rooms whatsoever,” Pelton said. This means that two classes of ballerinas are preparing in the dressing rooms in Lanier Hall while all the children are camped out in the hallways of both floors with their parents on blankets that they practically live on throughout the show’s run.

“They kind of move in for the weekend. It’s a well-oiled machine. We’ve been doing this for so long.” Some of the dancers have been with the production for so long, in fact, that they’ve grown up with it, beginning as one of the three-year-old mice and staying with the production well into their twenties. “All of our seniors and some college students have been in it since they were three-years-old. A lot of them come to college here because they don’t want to give up dance,” Pelton said.


Amelia Pelton greets audience members just before the show

King echoed those sentiments, “People return because of the relationships they build with one another through performance preparation, not because of the number of pirouettes they have learned to execute,” she said.

“We invest in enriching children’s lives and even encourage a few adults to reconnect with their own childhoods. We stay relevant because we are not steeped in tradition alone, but rather the tradition of innovation.”   

The development of the Community Engagement Award doesn’t just recognize the efforts of Pelton, but of the long-lasting relationship built between the Department of Theatre and Dance and the local community,“I would rather say that we got the award,” said Pelton, “dance got it.”   

 

@GeorgiaCollege Tagged Tweets
Georgia College Twitter Feed

AMAZING tour today with 🙌🏻 -autumnrebekah

Georgia College Twitter Feed

Ouch! Come to & Major in We will teach you & Stats so you can ma… https://t.co/CTBJ1Ng2mJ -DocKevinElder

Georgia College Twitter Feed

did you see the other one in the thread? https://t.co/4732geYxWn -MattHawkins

Georgia College Twitter Feed

oh how to use a more efficient viz than a pie chart. -DatabaseFairy

Georgia College Twitter Feed

Congratulations Kevin Morris, Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant recipient! Morris will work in Macedonia as an E… https://t.co/BZOcuvI6SU -GeorgiaCollege

Georgia College Twitter Feed

Be sure to check out the Tech Fair tomorrow from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Magnolia Ballroom! https://t.co/hiB4y8Qqa1 -GeorgiaCollege

Georgia College Twitter Feed

Choose the . Where convenience meets class just 0.6 miles from . https://t.co/7mlKNQ2Yvu -BellamyMville

Georgia College Twitter Feed

Having fun playing air guitar band!! Getting ready for our tour to next month!!… https://t.co/zWARCxv62V -DanceAMD

Georgia College Twitter Feed

RT : Be sure to come to the Statewide Career Fair on April 12 from 11-3! is providing free bus transportation!… https://t.co/3JoSbVQuen -GeorgiaCollege

Georgia College Twitter Feed

Pairing STEM & Liberal Arts is a powerful combo, like we do It pays to get a double major… https://t.co/C55Zm600w5 -DocKevinElder

Georgia College Twitter Feed

TODAY until 3 p.m. in Magnolia Ballroom: GC's first ever Tech Fair! https://t.co/c8l5AUU0jF -GeorgiaCollege

Georgia College Twitter Feed

Introducing "Under 30," a series where each week we catch up with some of our amazing young alumni. Stephanie Pope:… https://t.co/TSYoImE5NT -GeorgiaCollege

Georgia College Twitter Feed

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and has several fantastic events and trainings planned - ch… https://t.co/E3xBp8EVr7 -GeorgiaCollege

Georgia College Twitter Feed

Dr. Sallie Coke, Nursing faculty member, is 1 of only 35 selected for an international workshop.… https://t.co/SQTGU2z1SR -GeorgiaCollege

Georgia College Twitter Feed

Welcome to in Milledgeville! Milledgeville? Coulda been. is the 5th city named capital of Georgia.… https://t.co/tHtFA5GsO1 -RealSalesAdvice

Georgia College VimeoGeorgia College FacebookGeorgia College LinkedInGeorgia College Front Page RSS FeedGeorgia College Twitter