By NANCY WOZNY
Houston Ballet demi soloist Peter Franc finally gets his night as the Prince in The Nutcracker. Franc been been steadily moving forward and will also be dancing up a storm in the upcoming Jubilee of Dance: 40th Anniversary Celebration. Franc fills us on what’s on his dancing plate.
Houston ArtsWeek: Tell us about the prince. Why is this such a rite of passage role?
Peter Franc: He’s such a prince! It’s fun and challenging because there are so many different levels to the part. It’s a dynamic role that requires a great deal of control. I also get to add to the character to make it my own.
HA: What about your partners?
PF: Well I have three girls to take care of as the Prince: Clara, Snow Queen, and Sugar Plum Fairy. With Clara, I am mostly an escort, but I dance quite a bit with Snow and Sugar Plum.
HA: Elise Judson, your Sugar Plum, is also making her debut in the role.
PF: We have great chemistry because we both have been trained in the Academy, are eager to do well, and have strong work ethics. Plus, we are the perfect size for each other. She’s just a lovely dancer too.
HA: You are also in intense rehearsals for the annual “Jubilee of Dance.” What will we see you dancing that evening?
PF: I will be doing the “Blue Couple” in the finale of Stanton’s Tu Tu. It’s all big jumps and partnering. I have a solo in Stanton’s world premiere, 40. I start off the men’s section. I love the music, it’s Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol Op. 34.
HA: Last season you turned heads in Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun. What did that role mean to your career?
PF: I was so privileged to dance Faun. It’s such an iconic ballet, so smart, and there are so many details that make the piece work. Also, I got to dance with Mimi (Mireille Hassenboehler). It has to be my favorite moment in my career so far.
HA: You also got a chance to dance Louis XVI in Marie.
PF: Yes, with Sara Webb too. It was a huge opportunity for me. Last year was a good year for me.
HA: What are you looking forward to dancing in 2010?
PF: La Bayadere, Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, Christopher Bruce’s Hush and Balanchine’s Apollo. I love all those pieces.
HA: Any last thoughts on your adventures in prince land?
PF: Well my mom and other family members are coming. It’s my biggest role yet and I hope to do it well. We have a very high standard here at Houston Ballet. I can’t wait.
Peter Franc dances the Prince in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker on Tues. December 8 (student matinee) and Saturday, December 12 at 2pm, and in the “Jubilee of Dance: 40th Anniversary Celebration” on December 4, at 7:30pm, at Wortham Center. Call 713.227.2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org.
Photo by Amitava Sarkar: Peter Franc in Stanton Welch’s Tu Tu.