The cherished magic of “The Nutcracker” once again comes to stage as the City Youth Ballet of Johnson City presents this classic holiday tradition in shows set for Dec. 16-17 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 17-18 at 2:30 p.m. at Milligan College’s Gregory Center.
“We love this story because it stirs our imagination,” said Susan White, artistic director and owner of the City Youth Ballet. “But the splendor of classical ballet is what brings in our audiences. These dancers bring the best of ballet to our community.”
The production showcases dancers in glittering costumes with spectacular scenery all set to the glorious score of composer Peter Tchaikovsky. Guest artist Will Robichaud of Ballet Spartanburg (S.C.) dances the roles of the Cavalier and Snow King.
The Nutcracker story begins at a 19th-century home in Germany owned by the Stahlbaum family, whose daughter Clara, a role shared by Mia Garbe and Lily Norton, anticipates a festive Christmas party. Amid the celebration, Herr Drosselmeyer, an enchanting uncle, arrives to bestow gifts on the children including the Nutcracker.
After a battle with toy soldiers and a band of mythical mice, the Nutcracker takes Clara through a wintery wonderland and on to the Land of Sweets ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy, a role shared by senior dancers Hannah Thigpen and Lilly McKenzie. Dancers from around the world play host to Clara in the Land of Sweets before she is whisked back to her home.
“Our choreography this year showcases years of practice and performance by our dancers,” says Ms. White. “Even audience members who have seen this production for years will revel in its tradition but find something new in our ballet pieces and choreography.”
General admission and reserved-seating tickets can be purchased at Bear ‘n Friends Toy Shoppe, Peerless Centre, on North Roan Street in Johnson City, or at the door. Doors open one half-hour before the performance at the Gregory Center, 400 Blowers Boulevard on the Milligan campus. For more information, call the City Youth Ballet, 434-2195; visit us on Facebook, or www.cityyouthballet.org.