The Orion

Q&A: Dancer Sofia Allmon gets on point for ‘The Nutcracker’

Kristen Moran

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Snow Queen, Soldier Doll, Flower and a solo as a Spanish dancer thrown in for good measure.

These parts, usually portrayed by different people, will all be performed by Core Butte Charter School junior Sofia Allmon in this year’s Chico Community Ballet production of “The Nutcracker,” staged through Dec. 7 at Laxson Auditorium.

Allmon, who has been dancing since she was four, sat down with The Orion to discuss costume changes, preparing for “The Nutcracker” and how she manages so many roles.

You were originally an understudy for the role of the Spanish dancer because one of the dancers injured herself. Is it common for ballet dancers to get injuries?

Sometimes you can’t avoid it. (The) most common injuries happen in the ankles, knees and hips. Being on pointe can definitely affect that and lead to injuries.

What is “being on pointe?”

On pointe is when your toes are pointing like this (points toes perpendicular to the ground) with a supportive box around it. Also, on the back of your foot there is another support system that runs along the back. Sometimes, though, if you’re balancing wrong, you can hurt yourself, especially since you’re balancing on this little flat part (of your toes). You can twist your ankle coming down.

What’s it like being on pointe?

It’s like your whole entire body is rooted to the floor via a little part this big (holds hand up, forming a circle maybe two inches in diameter), and you have to really stand up.

How many hours have you spent preparing for the show?

Most days I am (rehearsing) from 2-4 hours. On weekends, I’m (rehearsing) sometimes all day. And our director has been working on this non-stop, and the costume people have been working constantly. It takes a lot of hours to work on this production.

What’s it like taking on all these different parts?

Everyone has their own way of performing a certain piece. They have customized it to themselves. So while you’re trying to learn the piece, you have to adapt to your style in case something happens. It’s very interesting, because even though you are performing the same role, it turns out different for each person. It’s more about a different flow of movement and how we chose to accent the music.

What’s it like changing characters so fast?

It’s hectic. Everyone is backstage trying to help you. Sometimes it gets a little bit frantic, but it definitely prepares you. We practice during the full run-through changing the costumes. It’s a system, but once you get it down, you’re set.

What would you like the audience to know about “The Nutcracker?”

I want them to know how much work it takes. It’s kind of unappreciated in Chico. It’s one of Chico’s hidden gems that people don’t know about. And I think if people see it, they are going to be really impressed.

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Performance Details

  • Date: Dec 4-7
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. Dec 4-6 and 2 p.m. Dec 6-7
  • Location: Laxson Auditorium
  • Price for Chico State student: $10

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Tickets can be bought online or at the University Box Office.

Kristen Moran can be reached at [email protected] or @Kristenvmoran on Twitter.

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Q&A: Dancer Sofia Allmon gets on point for ‘The Nutcracker’