Nutcracker Ballet ushers in holiday season
The holiday season begins with dancing snowflakes and a magical Nutcracker who comes to life as the South Carolina Dance Theatre presents the “The Nutcracker Ballet.” This familiar story is about a young girl named Clara who receives a magical nutcracker which leads her into a journey through the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. There she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince and is entertained by dancers from the Spanish, Arabian, Chinese, and Russian kingdoms.
The Nutcracker opens the Company’s 38th season with performances at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center. A must see for the holiday season, this beloved classic is an event for the whole family. Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous music, the ballet features elaborate scenery, professional costuming and intricate choreography and riveting dance, all of which make for an exceptional experience for young and old.
Performance times are Friday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m., a matinee on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. (which will be followed by the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party), an evening performance on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m., and a Sunday matinee on Dec. 6th at 3 p.m. Reservations are available by calling the PAC box office at 661-4444 during box office hours of noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For patrons who wish to obtain tickets online, you may visit the online box office at www.fmupac.org. Ticket prices are $32/$27/ $22 in accordance with three levels of seating. All student tickets are $15.
The ballet is under the direction of Susan Rowe, artistic director. The story of The Nutcracker is familiar to all as the children Clara and Fritz are entertained at a party given by their parents. Drosselmeyer, who is Clara’s favorite uncle, gives her a magical Nutcracker. She falls asleep and dreams and when she awakens, the room is filled with mice and toy soldiers who have come to life under the Christmas tree. A ferocious battle ensues and the Nutcracker leads the charge of the soldiers against the mice who attack Clara. Clara saves the Nutcracker’s life and the dream continues as he turns into a handsome prince.
Together they journey into the Kingdom of the Sweets where toys come to life, flowers dance before their eyes and the Sugar Plum and her Cavalier perform their magical pas de deux. Leading roles in the ballet are Rosemary Flamini as Clara, Caitlin Holt as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Hannah Griffin as Snow Queen. Dolls in the party scene are danced by Grace Munn, Gracie Wilson, Reeve Barnes-Young. The Mouse King will be performed by Kailey White and Carson Munn is the Nutcracker.
Dancers from the Kingdoms visited by Clara include Elizabeth King as Spanish, Kailey White as Arabian, Alyssa Hanna and Ella Naylor as Tea, McKenna Dynan, Natalie Dean and Carson Munn as Russian, and Camille Knockemus as Mirleton. Other senior dancers include Kushbu Jivan and Alyssa McGee. The SCDT welcomes Sean Armstrong as guest artist in the roles of Cavalier and Snow King.
Armstrong is a company member with the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has trained with the Classical Ballet Center in Summerville and attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C., before being offered a full scholarship to attend the year round program for the Houston Ballet. Since 2009, Armstrong has been in the Corps de Ballet with the Carolina Ballet.