Company XIV artistic director Austin McCormick gives us an inside look at the company's seasonal smash-hit Nutcracker Rouge, and how the company works together as an ensemble to create the one-of-a-kind theatrical experience.
Company XIV is comprised of a seriously multitalented and unique group of performers. We combine circus, ballet, burlesque, drag and song to make one of a kind theatrical events that blend theater and nightlife. Our signature style is to expose our dressing rooms and “offstage” areas allowing audiences to see us dress and undress, pull curtains, light our fellow castmates with spotlights and help each other with quick costume changes.
The most beautiful part of XIV is that every performer is both a soloist and a true ensemble member- no divas allowed. We love and support eachother on and off stage and truly enjoy contributing energy and whatever is needed to help our fellow cast perform at their best. Our cast even seats our guests as they arrive and opens Champagne bottles for VIP couches. Our goal is to make the audience feel like they’ve stepped into our world- we’re there to entertain and serve in every way! Ooh la la.
When I am conceiving and choreographing our productions I am tremendously inspired by the performers and their particular skill sets. For example our most recent show, Nutcracker Rouge features Tilly Evans-Kreuger who I originally hired as a dancer and then learned is a figure skater. We created an act where she ice skates onstage! Marcy Richardson our resident soprano and aerialist is incredibly versatile and skilled singing opera while suspended in an aerial hoop in a sea of glitter. Not to mention tap dancers and aerialists Nick and Ross Katen who are identical twins and able to seamlessly maneuver many genres of performance. Nutcracker Rouge changes every year and part of the fun for me is in adapting and altering the show to feature and highlight the XIV beauties!
photo credits: Philip Van Nostrand Mark Shelby Perry and Gingerb3ardman