‘Tis the season for the Nutcracker(s)…

28 Nov

Photo courtesy of Tacoma City Ballet

Whether The Nutcracker is an annual rite or you’ve yet to experience the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies, here’s your chance: three South Sound ballet companies – Tacoma City Ballet, Tacoma Performing Dance Company and Ballet Northwest – have all announced 2013 productions of the beloved ballet.

The Nutcracker is based on L’Histoire d’un Casse Noisette (The Story of the Hazelnut-Cracker) by Dumas Père, which is itself based on The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote the score for the ballet which premiered in Russia on December 17, 1892. It was first performed in its entirety in the US on December 29, 1944 by the San Francisco Opera Ballet, and the rest is history!

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Tacoma City Ballet (TCB) is proud to present the 15th anniversary of its beautiful, history-infused production of The Nutcracker. This production is based on the ballet as it was first performed by the Imperial Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg, in 1892. Opening December 8 in the grand setting of the Pantages Theater in Tacoma, TCB will perform with live accompaniment from Northwest Sinfonietta. The Nutcracker will run Saturdays and Sundays from December 8-23.

Photo courtesy of Tacoma City Ballet

This production debuted in Tacoma in 1998, after TCB Artistic Director Erin Ceragioli received a grant from the E.L. Wiegand Foundation to recreate the historical Nutcracker. The scenery, set pieces, props, and costumes followed the original libretto and their creation required a skilled team of artisans and volunteers. Now, in its 15th year, TCB is proud to present a production that adheres to the story, scenic design, costuming and choreography as it was originally created by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

This season, The Nutcracker runs December 8-23 at the Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway in Tacoma. Tickets are $19-$60 at www.broadwaycenter.org or call 253.591.5894 or 800.291.7593. Military, student, senior and group discounts are available. For further information, contact Melissa Lovejoy Goldman at 253.272.4219 or visit www.tacomacityballet.com

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Tacoma Performing Dance Company (TPDC) welcomes you to a captivating new production of The Nutcracker choreographed and staged by Artistic Director (and local dance legend) Jo Emery with Amity Howell-Sloboda, and Jean Milano. This is a production of great energy and charm, featuring more than 125 dancers to tell the story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince, sugarplums and dancing delights.

TPDC will present The Nutcracker Ballet: Tacoma’s Finest Holiday Tradition at the Stadium High School Performing Arts Center at 111 North E Street on Saturday, December 15 at 2 pm and 7 pm; and Sunday, December 16 at 2 pm and 6 pm. Purchase tickets in advance at 253-752-8530, or at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $22 for adults; $18 for seniors and students 16 and under; group rates are also available.

The cast includes:
“Young Clara” – Dara Hanson and Grace Quigley
“Dream Clara as a Young Lady” – Riley Ranch and Gaby Beardemphl
“Fritz” – Sam Hart
“Sugar Plum Fairy” – Anna Herron
“The Nutcracker Prince” – Roy Stevens
“Herr Drosselmeyer” – Art Ward
“Rat King” – Aramis Barreto
“Snow Queen” – Lesley Barrett
“Arabian Dancers” – Nadia Glaude and Jasmine Miller
“Russian Dance” – Toni Cox, Zoe Meade and Mari Thiersch
“Chinese Variation” – Molly McVicker and Anna Needham
“Spanish Variation” – Ballroom Dance Champions Kaye Munro and Jean Milano
“Mother Ginger” – Amity Howell-Sloboda and Katarina Mead
“Dew Drop Fairy” – Meriel Petersen

Children from the Jo Emery Ballet School will be cast in additional roles. Costume design is by Tracy McGowen and Emilie Stevens, set design is by Patti Graham.

For more information call 253.861.4865 or email amityhowell@hotmail.com.

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Ballet Northwest‘s production of The Nutcracker has been an Olympia tradition for 28 years, and it has been performed at its current venue, the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, since the building opened in 1985.

Photo courtesy of Ballet Northwest

This is a big, talent-loaded production with 200 dancers led by guest dancer Iyun Harrison as the Nutcracker Prince. Harrison has danced professionally with Dance Theater of Harlem and Ailey II, both in New York City. Ballet Northwest is a company comprised of over 70 dancers primarily from the South Puget Sound area. The production is choreographed by Ballet Northwest Artistic Directors Ken and Josie Johnson.

Josie Johnson states, “We’ve had a number of our dancers who studied this past summer at prestigious programs such as American Ballet Theater in New York, Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, and Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, so it’s fun to see them come back and take this year’s production to a new level.”

Photo courtesy of Ballet Northwest

Ballet Northwest will present The Nutcracker December 14-23, 2012 at the Washington Center. Performances 
Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 2 pm and 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets are $14-$30 (plus $3 service fee) at 360.753.8586 or order online here. Student, senior and youth discounts available. Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington Street Southeast in Olympia.

One Response to “‘Tis the season for the Nutcracker(s)…”

  1. Tacoma Arts December 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    …And check out Dance Theatre Northwest’s Nutcracker to be performed at Mt. Tahoma High School: http://www.dancetheatrenorthwest.org/!

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