Upon hearing the first few lilting notes of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," the enchantment of Christmastime officially begins.
The Christmas classic will once again be brought to life by Ballet Arkansas this season as "The Nutcracker Spectacular." Accompanied by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the state's largest holiday production will take the Robinson Center stage Dec. 9-11.
Ballet Arkansas' annual production is a holiday tradition for many, featuring professional dancers alongside a community cast of more than 200 kids and adults from across the state. This year's show features updated choreography as well as the choirs of Mount Saint Mary Academy and Bryant High School performing during the "snow scene" in Act I.
"One of my favorite moments during the performance is the infamous snow scene," says Catherine Fothergill, the troupe's associate artistic director. "As the snow begins to fall onstage, you can hear an audible gasp in the audience at the beauty of seeing the professional ballet dancers joined by community cast performers, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and local high school choirs, who have all come together to create a magical scene of music and dance. I always take a moment to look across the audience to see the joy this production brings to families from all across our community."
Also returning this year is the Land of the Sweets Nutcracker Tea Dec. 10-11 hosted by the Sugar Plum Fairy, which sold out in record time, but you can join the waitlist here. Santa Claus will also be in attendance for select performances, and there will be a Nutcracker Boutique with merchandise for purchase, the sales of which benefit Ballet Arkansas.
The comedic "Nutty Nutcracker" performance that premiered last year will return on a biennial basis in 2023.
To learn more, find showtimes and to get your tickets, visit the Ballet Arkansas website. And follow along on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the festivities.
Read on: What's Ahead for Ballet Arkansas
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