Kenmore resident Daniel Chernyavskiy, 11, will play Fritz in the Emerald Ballet Theatre’s 2016 production of “The Nutcracker” at Northshore Performing Arts Center in Bothell. HENINGER FOTOGRAFIK/Contributed photo

Kenmore boy plays key role in EBT’s ‘Nutcracker’

Daniel Chernyavskiy has been dancing for more than half of his life, and that hard work has led to his casting as Clara’s mischievous brother, Fritz, in the Emerald Ballet Theatre’s (EBT) production of “The Nutcracker.”

“Every single part I dance in — it makes me so happy,” Chernyavskiy, 11, said, adding he was both surprised and nervous when he found out he’d be playing Fritz.

Now, the sixth grader at Willows Preparatory School in Redmond, has put all that nervous energy into working hard and finding the fun in the performance. Chernyavskiy said he’s stuck with dancing since the time when he started at 5 years old because it has helped him learn what he’s good at doing, specifically citing high jumps. He previously appeared in EBT’s “Nutcracker” as a party boy and snow prince.

Participating in the performance has been made that much more familiar, as Chernyavskiy’s father, Steve, has played a party dad for the last few years, something he’s continuing to do this year.

“It makes it more of a family activity,” Daniel said.

The production will hit the stage at the Northshore Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. Dec. 3-4 and 10-11. Tickets are $20 to $38 and can be purchased by calling 425-298-3449 or visiting npacf.org.

In addition to Chernyavskiy, a variety of other performers from the region, including two Bothell residents, Belle Alderks and Willem Alderks, also are performing in the EBT’s “Nutcracker.”

The production of the legendary ballet from EBT is part of the company’s 10th anniversary celebration, and Programming Director Sarah Jacobsen said their production is a truly classic version of “The Nutcracker,” from the choreography and the costumes to the sets, which include three new ones from Russia.

“The artistic director (Viktoria Titova) traveled the world doing the Bolshoi production of ‘The Nutcracker’,” Jacobsen said. “She really takes a lot of inspiration from that Russian influence.”

However, some twists have been put into the production, Jacobsen said, including the Mouse King being replaced by a Mouse Queen, and instead of traditional masks, the costuming includes leather-handcrafted headpieces made in Whidbey Island.

For more information about the production, visit emeraldballet.org.

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