Featuring the professional dancers of North Carolina Dance Theatre, exceptionally talented young performers and music by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.
This year’s performance features a brother and sister dancing the role of Clara and Fritz, and
17 students from NC Dance Theatre’s outreach scholarship program, NCDT REACH!
Charlotte, N.C. – North Carolina Dance Theatre presents Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s Nutcracker live with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, December 9-11 and 16-18. Presented by Wells Fargo, NC Dance Theatre’s annual Nutcracker production draws thousands to the Belk Theater each holiday season.
The Nutcracker story begins at a cheerful holiday party, where the mysterious Herr Drosselmeyer entertains guests and presents young Clara with an extraordinary Nutcracker doll. After a ferocious battle with the Mouse King, the Nutcracker doll comes to life, and through Herr Drosselmeyer’s magic, takes Clara on a journey to the glittering Land of Snow and the majestic Land of Sweets.
Tickets to Nutcracker start at $25 and can be purchased at 704.372.1000, ncdance.org and the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Box Office.
Young Dancers Shine in Nutcracker – Including Brother and Sister dancing as Clara and Fritz and 17 Students from NCDT REACH!
Bringing Nutcracker to the stage are the professional dancers of North Carolina Dance Theatre and NC Dance Theatre 2, joined by young performers from the community. The majority of the young performers train at NC Dance Theatre School of Dance.
This year 17 of the young dancers are participants in NCDT REACH!, NC Dance Theatre’s community outreach dance program that provides free, high quality dance training to students with evidenced financial need, who demonstrate a natural talent for movement and the potential to be trained in dance. The REACH! students meet at area Park and Recreation Centers once a week for classes led by professional NC Dance Theatre teaching artists. Last year four NCDT REACH! students performed in Nutcracker. This year second and third year NCDT REACH! students were invited to audition and 17 will perform in Nutcracker, most of them as Mice.
Nutcracker is portrayed through the eyes of a young and talented Clara. Three students make their debuts as Clara this December, alternating the role at different performances. Caitrin Murphy, 12, has the unique experience of dancing alongside her younger brother, Eamon, 11, who dances the role of Clara’s mischievous brother Fritz. Caitrin and Eamon, from Charlotte, are both performing their respective roles for the first time and say they are looking forward to dancing with one another.
Caitrin shares the role of Clara with Blake Johnston, 15, from Gastonia and Samantha Teves, 13, from Charlotte. Eamon takes over the role of Fritz from Tyler Haritan, 15, who danced the role for three years. This year Haritan, from Cornelius, takes on the role of Nutcracker, which will have him battling the Mouse King and accompanying Clara on her journey to the Land of the Snow and the Land of Sweets.
History of Nutcracker
The first performance of the Nutcracker was December 6-18, 1892, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Russia. The ballet was conducted by Riccardo Drigo and choreographed by Lev Ivanov. The premiere had limited success.
The current popularity of the Nutcracker is due in part to Willam Christensen, former ballet master of the San Francisco Ballet. Christensen imported the Nutcracker to the United States in 1944. George Balanchine decided to choreograph his own version for the New York City Ballet in 1954, and since then the Nutcracker has become a winter tradition in the United States.
The Nutcracker Story
Nutcracker might well be called Clara’s Dreams—a little girl’s colorful dreams spring to life from the excitement and splendor of a holiday party.
The story begins on a crisp winter’s evening at the home of Clara’s parents, where close family and friends have gathered to celebrate a joyous holiday season. At the height of the evening’s festivities, Clara’s favorite uncle Herr Drosselmeyer arrives with his nephew, bearing glorious gifts for everyone at the party. Clara is presented with a wonderful Nutcracker doll, which Fritz, her mischievous brother, ends up breaking as he goes about teasing all the girls in attendance. Herr Drosselmeyer saves the day by mending the doll for Clara.
After the party, the tired young Clara falls fast asleep and Herr Drosselmeyer uses enchantment to guide her through a series of vivid dreams. The Mouse King arrives on the scene and attempts to kidnap Clara; but with the help of Drosselmeyer’s magic, the beloved Nutcracker doll comes to life as a handsome Prince who battles the Mouse King, ultimately saving Clara from an unhappy fate. The Nutcracker Prince then transports Clara to the glittering Land of Snow, where they meet the Snow King and Queen.
Again, with Drosselmeyer’s magic, Clara and the Nutcracker Prince are transported to the Land of Sweets in an enchanted walnut boat where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and the sweets of the kingdom. The Sugar Plum Fairy entertains Clara with dancing sweets including: Chocolate, a Spanish dance; Tiramisu, a Neapolitan dance; Tea, a Chinese dance; Coffee, an Arabian dance; and Candy Cane, a Russian dance. They are also delighted with performances from the Marzipan Shepherdesses, a quite large Mother Ginger and the beautiful Waltz of the Flowers. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier perform a final dance for Clara and the Nutcracker Prince before the sweets of the kingdom wave goodbye to Clara as she departs in her enchanted boat.