Grandma Reports On Granddaughter’s ‘Nutcracker’ Performance

By Arvilla Pritchard


OTTO – Twelve-year-old Olivia May Kriedeman Hubbard bestowed a truly wonderful Christmas gift on her grandmother, Elise Kriedman, of north Otto.

“She and her parents invited me to see her dance in ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet,” Kriedeman said, “and it was absolutely wonderful.”

This particular version of the oft-performed Christmas classic was staged by the Albany Berkshire Ballet troupe, with which Olivia has been dancing for eight years. The performance witnessed by Kriedeman took place in Pittsfield, Mass., where Olivia lives with her parents, Alan and Sandy (Kriedeman’s daughter).

“Olivia’s been appearing in ‘The Nutcracker’ for eight years, but this was truly her pinnacle,” crowed the proud grandma. “She worked her way up through the mice, the clowns, the snowflakes, all that – but this year she danced her first featured role – as Clara. She was in almost every scene.” The Albany Berkshire Ballet was founded in 1960 by artistic director and dance instructor Madeline Cantarella-Culpo as a performance outlet for her more advanced students. The troupe has performed to critical acclaim, at various sites around northeastern United States and Canada, including Boston and New York City.

Although it was early in December when Kriedeman traveled to Pittsfield, Mass., to witness Olivia’s performance, she’s still excited about it. “It was well worth the trip,” she enthused.

“That girl just loves dancing,” continued the proud grandmother. “She’s been at it since she was two and a half, and she likes almost every form, from jazz to tap. But this year, after ‘The Nutcracker,’ she told me that’s what she really wants to do – grow up to be a ballerina.”