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Who doesn’t love the story of The Nutcracker ballet? The inspiration for Clara comes from one of my earliest and fondest childhood memories.

I was four-years old in 1959 and I lived with my family in in Yorba Linda, California. It was Christmas time and my mother and grandmother took me to see The Nutcracker ballet for the first time. I wore my red Christmas party dress with the voile pinafore, black patent leather Mary Jane’s and white ruffled socks. I felt so special. I can still feel the electricity in the air as we walked down red carpeted aisle and settled into the luxurious velvet seats.It seemed to take forever for performance to begin as I perched myself on my mother’s lap. Eventually, the curtain was drawn aside and the performance began.I was riveted to the stage as I watched this timeless classic unfold.

I can still see the beautiful Clara dressed in her full skirt and pointe shoes gracefully and effortlessly gliding across the stage: “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, “Waltz of the Flowers”, “The Arabian Dance”. I loved each scene of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. I remember thinking: “I want to do that”. An aspiration shared by many little girls. Predictably, I mentioned this to my mother and of course she enrolled me in ballet classes. Alas, being a prima ballerina was not my destiny. Not being to tell my right from my left proved to be a problem! Nevertheless, the indelible memory of my first Nutcracker still fills me with great joy and provided the impetus to create this timeless piece.

Creating Clara was a huge challenge. Her billowing full skirt took hours to complete. Her accordion slip is flanged with delicate roses and the ribbon edging gives the piece unique interest and elegance. Of course, Clara would not be complete without her beloved nutcracker doll. The look of pure joy on Clara’s face as she dances with him is unmistakable. It is my hope that Clara will give you the same joy that I get every time I look at her and remember my first Nutcracker Ballet.