Upper school dance production brings back “The Nutcracker”


“The Nutcracker,” the 2021 Upper School dance production, was held from Nov. 10 to Nov. 12. It showcased the hard work of more than 90 students and the choreography of Performing Arts and Dance Teachers Mrs. Cheryl Lagerquist, Mrs. Deborah Flemming and Ms. Kendra Ing. 

This year’s production had a double cast: Two dancers played the same role in alternating performances. 

The dancers strived to embrace the persona of their stage character. “The biggest challenge for me was finding a connection to my character the nutcracker,” Lucia Vera (‘24) said. “I’m not a great actor and I have never been cursed ugly by a mouse, so at times it was hard to convey the emotions that fit with the storyline.” 

Equally important to the dancers is establishing a close connection within the crew.“My favorite part was becoming close with a lot of new friends and the chaotic backstage energy,” Moa Sera (‘22), who also played the nutcracker, said. 

The production was particularly meaningful to the crew as it was Mrs. Flemming’s final dance production before she leaves Taipei American School (TAS). The choice of “The Nutcracker” celebrates her final year as it is also the first production she directed at TAS. At the final show, Mrs. Lagerquist, Ms. Ing and the dancers invited Mrs. Flemming to the stage to take her final bow. 

“It was wonderful to reflect on how far we have come as the first Nutcracker was the first dance production at TAS and no one knew what to expect,” Mrs. Flemming said. “Now we have established that our dance productions are polished and creative performances with strong dancers, beautiful costumes and fabulous sets.”

As she leaves a remarkable legacy at TAS, she feels grateful toward everyone who has supported her and her work. “I am taking away precious memories with a full heart,” she said.