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The Dance Company has new venue for ‘The Nutcracker’

MADISON – The Dance Company Inc. once again will reprise the magic of Christmas in its production of “The Nutcracker” on Nov. 19 and 20.

For the first time, the show’s venue will be the Dream Theatre Performing Arts Center at 3401 Holmes Ave. in Huntsville. “This is the old Butler High School building. The Rock Family Worship Center has renovated the entire facility,” Julie George said.

“We’re so excited to move into the renovated facility. There is not a bad seat in the house!” Beth Cannon said. George and Cannon own The Dance Company Inc.

“Our dancers have worked very hard on this year’s production. The choreography was set at the end of July. Rehearsals began in August and will continue through the week of the show,” George said.

The cast of approximately 100 dancers ranges from young children through adults. Leads are Maggie Leonard (Clara); Grace Hill (Marie); Sarah Helms (Snow Queen); Jordan Lewis (Dew Drop Fairy); and Sarah Hill (Sugar Plum Fairy).

Each year, The Dance Company strives to create costumes authentic to the era and show’s plot. “We really feel the costuming this year may be the best we have ever had,” Cannon said.

In the show, Clara, Marie and Nanny are Christmas shopping. They visit Drosselmeyer’s Candy Shoppe and discover the nutcracker. The girls fight selfishly for the toy.

That evening, Clara and Marie encounter surreal visits to Land of Snow and Land of the Sweets. Ultimately, they learn to share the nutcracker.

Alexander Upleger of Grand Rapids Ballet choreographed the production. She was assisted by husband Jon Upleger, formerly with Nashville Ballet and now with Grand Rapids School of Dance.

Directing rehearsals are Melissa Barnett, Beth Cannon, Julie George and Kristine Taff. Abby Cobb is responsible for ticketing and costumes. Jamie Martin is coordinating set design. Martin and Matt Smith are overseeing backdrops.

For Sarah Helms (Snow Queen), “Having the opportunity to perform ‘The Nutcracker’ has not only pushed me physically but allowed me the space to develop lasting relationships and be part of the most loving community.”

The spirit of “The Nutcracker” always makes Jordan Lewis (Dewdrop) feel nostalgic and warm. “It’s truly the happiest time of the year,” Lewis said.

Sarah Hill (Sugarplum Fairy) has performed in “The Nutcracker” since she was 11 years old. “The Sugar Plum Fairy has been my dream role. Dancing the part is a dream come true. Nutcracker season is the most wonderful time of year. I can’t wait to hit the stage!” Hill said.

On Nov. 19, the show will open at 7 p.m. On Nov. 20, show times will be 1, 4 and 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $10 plus a convenience fee of $1.50 and are available from Tutu Tux (https://buy.tututix.com/thedancecompanyinc). “In celebration of the season, we encourage everyone to bring canned goods for Manna House,” George said.

For more information, call 256-461-8759 or visit thedancecompanyinc.com, Facebook/thedancecompanyinc and Instagram # thedancecompanyinc.

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