North St. Paul dancer lands role

Jalen Gisselquist, North St. Paul, gleefully plays the villain in “The Nutcracker.”
Jalen Gisselquist, North St. Paul, gleefully plays the villain in “The Nutcracker.” (submitted photo)

Jalen Gisselquist, North St. Paul, will be a featured performer as the Rat King in Ballet Minnesota’s “The Classic Nutcracker.” The 20-year-old Gisselquist has literally made leaps and bounds during his four short years as a ballet dancer.

Gisselquist’s training includes five weekly ballet classes along with up to 25 hours of rehearsal time. To that regimen he adds long distance running to improve cardiovascular stamina and eight hours of weight training at the gym in order to maintain the lifting strength required of most male dancers.

Gisselquist is also working on capturing the character of the Rat King in order to portray him in a way that is menacing but also fun. “I hope that my Rat King will be the kind of villain the audience loves to hate,” he said.

“The Classic Nutcracker” will be performed at The O’Shaughnessy, on the campus of St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, Dec. 19-21. Ticket prices range from $16 to $42 with discounts for seniors and students. To purchase tickets, go to oshag.stkate.edu/event/nutcracker or call The O’Shaughnessy box office at 651-690-6700.

 

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