San Jose, CA – This year’s 58th The Nutcracker by San Jose Dance Theatre, will not only entertain audiences with the classic Christmas story of a girl’s dream of a waltz of flowers and the Sugar Plum Fairy, but it will also be a dream come true for this year’s Clara, Anika Sison.
Dancing the role of Clara in “The Nutcracker” has always been a dream and goal for Anika, since she first saw her first Nutcracker performance at 4 years old at the San Jose Center For Performing Arts. At the time, she had been taking dance lessons for two years at a local dance studio. Fast forward to almost 10 years later, she’ll finally dance in the role of Clara in the same theater where she first saw her first Nutcracker, and with the same production that inspired her to focus on her ballet training.
“I remember the first time that she saw the Sugar Plum Fairy enter the stage. She watched every movement intensely, her jaw dropped, and I don’t think she blinked that much” laughed her mom, Cathe Huynh-Sison. After the show, Anika asked her mom how she can dance like the Sugar Plum Fairy on stage. “You have to work really hard in your ballet class, stay focused, and get to pointe level,” her mom answered. Determined, focused and competitive from a young age, Anika has worked very hard through the years. She auditioned for the 53rd production of “The Nutcracker” and was cast in the roles of Soldier and Lamb in her first Nutcracker performance. The following year, she transitioned her training to San Jose Dance Theatre, a ballet company and academy, to focus on her classical ballet training at the age of 9. She blossomed under the guidance of Linda Hurksman, the former Artistic Director of SJDT.
Now in SJDT’s Pre-Professional Program (under the guidance of SJDT’s current Artistic Director, Mariana Zschoerper), Anika trains full-time 5-6 days each week while maintaining rigorous middle school academic courses at St. John Vianney Catholic School. “Anika has proved herself to be a dedicated and focused dancer throughout her years at our ballet academy. While she is blessed with natural ability, she also has a very sharp mind. We have seen her blossom in her training and become a truly impressive dancer,” mentioned Elizabeth Sweeney, Executive Director of San Jose Dance Theatre. “Anika has come a long way since she was a little lamb in the Nutcracker Marzipan divertissement.”
About The Original San Jose Nutcracker
San José Dance Theatre is thrilled to return this live production of The Nutcracker on stage at the magnificent San Jose Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown San Jose, December 8-10, 2023. This year, San Jose Dance Theatre audiences will be awed by the grace and talent of our professional company dancing beside our youth ensemble, accompanied again by a live orchestra. Musical direction by Scott Krijnen conducting Cambrian Symphony. Tickets ranging from $44-$99 are available at sjnutcracker.com
About San Jose Dance Theatre
San Jose Dance Theatre (SJDT) promotes the positive impact of dance in Silicon Valley through accessible performances, excellent training, creative outreach, and collaboration across the arts. We strive to illuminate the human experience while enriching an appreciation of movement and music to an expanding and diverse audience. For more information on the Season 2023-2024 performances and academy classes, please visit sjdt.org.