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Huntsville Ballet will present “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 9-11, along with special showings for area third-graders. CONTRIBUTED

Opening tonight: Huntsville Ballet returns ‘The Nutcracker’ to the VBC stage

MADISON – After a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19, a Christmastime tradition for North Alabama will return with “The Nutcracker,” a production of Huntsville Ballet.

Huntsville Symphony Orchestra will accompany the ballet in its 53rd annual production of this holiday classic. Huntsville Symphony Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s treasured score for the classical ballet.

The production features Huntsville Ballet’s entire roster of professional dancers, complemented by a cast of 80-plus students from Huntsville Ballet School.

In “The Nutcracker’s” storyline, Clara receives the Nutcracker as a gift from her mysterious godfather, Drosselmeyer. With a stroke of magic, the Nutcracker comes to life, and the characters are whisked away to The Land of the Sweets. The Sugar Plum Fairy welcomes the group. A dazzling array of colorful characters entertains them.

The production’s highlights include a growing Christmas tree, an onstage blizzard of snowflakes, dancing flowers and Mother Ginger’s iconic skirt.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to be back on stage with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra for the 2022 holiday season and excited to present a classical portrayal of the characters that Huntsville, as well as the entire ballet world, has grown to love,” Phillip Otto said. Otto serves as Artistic Director of Huntsville Ballet.

David Harwell, Theater Program Director at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, designed the set. Lisa Ordway, Resident Costume Designer for Huntsville Ballet, designed costumes.

In a special performance, Nutcracker Military Night and supporting community partners on Dec. 8 will honor active duty, retired, guard members and reserve members of the military and their families.

Performances are scheduled for Dec. 9-11 at Von Braun Center’s Mark C. Smith Concert Hall. Show times will be Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 10 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and Dec. 11 at 1 p.m.

In an annual custom, the Outreach and Education Department of Huntsville Ballet will welcome approximately 3,700 third-graders to the VBC Concert Hall for two special, closed performances on Dec. 8-9.

Group discount rates are available. To buy tickets, visit huntsvilleballet.org/tickets or call 256-539-0961.

During Huntsville Ballet’s season, the work of pre-professional and junior company members and guest artists complement the company’s professional dancers. Audiences enjoy diverse programs, ranging from classical ballet like “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Firebird” to new choreography like “Stage Door Canteen” and “The Tumbleweed Suite.”

Huntsville Ballet Company and School operate under the umbrella of the Community Ballet Association Inc., a non-profit member of state and local Arts Councils, incorporated in 1964.

For more information, email companymanager@huntsvilleballet.org.

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