Sisters, dad to perform together in 'Nutcracker'

With grande jetés and fouetté turns and arabesques and pas de chats, sisters Genevieve and Aria Colangelo will dance on stage together in the Northeast Atlanta Ballet's presentation of the classic tale "The Nutcracker" this weekend.

Genevieve Colangelo, 16, will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, as Aria, 13, performs the role of Clara. The sisters will be featured in shows at 2 p.m. today and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The ballet is directed by Jennifer Gordon, founder and artistic director of the Lilburn School of Ballet, home of the Northeast Atlanta Ballet.

A junior at Parkview High School, Genevieve Colangelo has studied ballet for 13 years and has performed "The Nutcracker" with the Northeast Atlanta Ballet since she was seven. She has previously danced the role of Clara and is now dancing her dream role of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

"When you're a ballerina and you've been working for so many years to dance in this ballet, it's the one part you want to get to perform before you graduate," she said. "In my heart, it's a dream come true because it's been my dream part since I can remember.

"It's probably the most challenging thing I've had to do," she added.

Aria Colangelo, a seventh-grade student at Trickum Middle School, has studied ballet for nine years and appeared in a production of "The Nutcracker" at the age of 2.

Clara will also be performed by Hannah Watkins, Glori Thomas and Katie Scudellari, and Lauren McDonough and Sarah Bottino will dance the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

"It's really fun," Aria Colangelo said of the ballet. "I like how it tells about a little girl and how people can dream big and just how that comes true."

The Colangelo sisters will be joined on stage by their father, Kent Colangelo, who dances the role of Drosselmeyer, Clara's godfather who gives her the toy Nutcracker that comes to life.

"The chance to be involved with an event that is that important to them in their lives, it's just an opportunity that is rare," Kent Colangelo said. "I'm not on the sidelines, I'm right in there playing with them. From a sports standpoint, I'm on the field with them."

Kent Colangelo's ballet experience has come from his involvement in the Northeast Atlanta Ballet with his daughters.

"I really just got into this because I'm a dad," he said. "It's one of the nice things about this organization to let anybody be as involved as they want to be, which is nice from the family standpoint. The philosophy of the company has always been that way, and it's nice to be a part of that."

SideBar: If You Go

What: "The Nutcracker," presented by the Northeast Georgia Ballet

When: 2 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, 10, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth

Cost: $12 to $15 in advance and $15 to $18 at the door

For more information: Visit www.northeastatlantaballet.org