The Stuff of Dreams
Nothing says holiday fun like mice and rats running around.
That is, if those rodents are scurrying around on stage in the annual Studio K Youth Ballet production of “The Nutcracker.”
Studio K’s ballet version of Peter Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” returns to Farthing Auditorium in Boone on Friday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.
After a career spent writing symphonies, such as “Romeo and Juliet” and “The 1812 Overture,” Tchaikovsky took to writing scores for dance rather late in life, with “The Nutcracker” being his final ballet. In the century since its debut, it has become one of the most popular ballets performed, particularly during the holidays.
As the ballet opens, we meet Clara and her family as the Von Stahlbaum household is preparing for a large Christmas party, complete with a huge Christmas tree and lavish decorations.
Many guests arrive, including the mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer, a kindly old gentleman who is godfather to both Clara and her mischievous brother, Fritz. Drosselmeyer gives the two children mechanical dolls: Clara receives a harlequin doll, and Fritz gets a soldier doll.
Drosselmeyer also gives Clara a nutcracker doll dressed as a soldier. Fritz tries to take the nutcracker from Clara, and, in the ensuing struggle, the doll is broken in two. Clara tries to comfort the injured soldier as her parents say goodnight to their parting guests.
When Clara falls asleep in the living room, her dreams magically transform her surroundings. An army of soldier dolls comes to life and hails the arrival of the Nutcracker Prince. After fighting off the Mouse King and his horde, Clara and the Nutcracker visit the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets.
Along the way, they meet dancers from around the world and are enchanted by the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy.
Like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” Clara awakens to find her journey has been a magical dream … or was it?
This year’s Studio K production of The Nutcracker features Studio K director Cay Harkins as the Snow Queen and Matt Backe as the Nutcracker Prince. More than 300 local dancers will perform on stage as the action goes from a traditional Christmas party to the world of dreams and back.
Tickets for “The Nutcracker” are $11 for adults and $8 for children. To order tickets, call Farthing Auditorium at (828) 262-4046.