A tango friend, despite claiming allergy to "The Nutcracker,” put me in touch with her friend Myron Schwartz, an oncologist based at Mount Sinai Hospital. His focus is the liver but he has another specialty as well: dancing a role in the party scene in "The Yorkville Nutcracker,” which this year runs Dec. 9-12 at the Kaye Playhouse.
I e-mailed him to ask about his stage career, and he explained that this is his fourth year taking part in this version of "The Nutcracker,” which is choreographed by Francis Patrelle and set at Gracie Mansion in 1895. Dr. Schwartz plays the Chinese consul and his character’s partner, Mrs. Theodore Havemeyer, will be played for the first time by his wife, Diana Pan. (She is "a real dancer,” the doctor wrote, and added, "Where Mr. Havemeyer is, lord knows!”) Their daughter, 6, is also taking part for the first time.
Dr. Schwartz, who first took ballet classes in 1999, goes back to class at the end of every summer to get ready. "Francis insists,” he wrote.
Here are more excerpts from his e-mail:
"I get to do a little chassé turn and a chance to swing my partner and do-si-do. (I’m sure Francis would kill me for saying that, but I used to play square dances long ago in another life.)
"I have no illusions about being a serious dancer. But being part of the creative process is a great feeling; and I can’t deny that in company class the day of my first opening, I stood extra-straight and imagined, for a moment, that I could have been a performer.
"This year, though, will be extra special. Since the days when I started class, it has been a dream to dance onstage with Diana. Our dream will come true Dec. 9, and with our Hari [their daughter] stomping and playing a little Spanish Page to boot, well — what could be better than that?”