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My Life in The Nutcracker
By Paul Michael Bloodgood, Company Dancer

At the age of 13, I received my initial Nutcracker experience performing with the Pacific Northwest Ballet in their annual 40-performance-run.  As the Cavalier Officer in the Fight Scene in Act I, I had the privilege to march alongside the actual Nutcracker who was a member of the main company.  In subsequent seasons came Fighting Mouse, Father in the Party Scene, and my favorite growing up, the Chinese Tiger.  I was the youngest dancer to ever perform the role (14), and my alternates were both company members, much to their chagrin. 

As a professional, I have had the opportunity to perform to nearly every piece of music with the exception of Waltz of the Flowers.  Arabian seems to be one of most attractive and fun roles to portray.  The sensuousness of the music separates the quality of the movement from the rest of the ballet, and I think it resides as one of the most memorable divertissement. 

This season I am performing the role of the Cavalier, the prince with whom the Sugar Plum Fairy performs the grand pas deux in Act II.  I had the opportunity to perform this role for several seasons in my previous company, Ballet Pacifica, and it is wonderful to return to the part.  My partner, Ashley Lynn, and I have a genuine friendship onstage and off, so we have a great time working together.  The only role that has eluded me thus far is the infamous Drosselmeyer…but I think it will come around eventually!
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