Moody gets cherished role

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Josie Moody got her plum role.

“I always wanted to be the Sugar Plum Fairy, so it’s a nice goal to meet,” Moody said.

The Noblesville resident will play the iconic role in Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre’s student production of “The Nutcracker,” set for 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Pike Performing Arts Center. The production primarily features dancers of G2, the pre-professional company of GHDT, and students from The Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre.

Audrey Holloway, left, and Josie Moody appear in “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Lydia Moody)

Moody, a high school junior taking online classes, has been with the Academy nine years.

“I haven’t done a lot of partnering before, so getting to work with the Prince is a good experience,” Moody said.

Company dancer Thomas Mason plays the Prince.

University High School senior Olivia Payton, an Irvington resident, has the role of a Children of Kingdom soloist.

Payton was been with Hancock Academy for eight years.

“I was the Sugar Plum Fairy last year and now I’m a different soloist,” Payton said. “I have never been this soloist before. I remember my first year I saw this solo and thought it was really good.”

Hannah Winkler, a homeschooled senior from Westfield, plays the Mouse Queen.

“I dance with the small mice, which are kind of my minions,” Winkler said of Mouse Queen. “I never had to play the role of the villain before, so that’s a challenge. I had been with another ‘Nutcracker’ before with one of my old studios and it was the traditional.”

Company dancer Abbie Lessaris, who is helping with the direction, said this is the 27th year of the GHDT production.

“Our ‘Nutcracker’ is an annual tradition we really cherish, and we think it has a beautiful lesson, that at the end of the day, only kindness matters,” Lessaris said. “I think our modern version sets us apart. We don’t use traditional music and we don’t use traditional costumes.”

For more, gregoryhancockdancetheatre.org.

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