In what has become a local tradition, Carrollton Center for the Arts will launch its Christmas season programming with the 2021 production of The Nutcracker Ballet this weekend.
“At four years old, my mom took me to The Nutcracker for the first time and I was transfixed,” said the show’s director, Brii Tyson. “The elegance! The excitement! The magic! Now it never feels like the holidays until I’ve seen The Nutcracker. And what luck to have these talented performers and skilled technicians and this beautiful arts center right here in our community. I hope the people of Carrollton will find some of the same magic I love about The Nutcracker and begin their own tradition with one of these sure-to-be magnificent shows.”
Apparently, Tyson’s Christmas wish was granted, as all four shows sold out almost immediately after tickets became available.
While Carrollton’s production presents the music, scenes, characters and story audiences have loved since the show’s 1892 debut, it creates something unique to Carrollton with innovations in other parts of the ballet.
“Our show is completely new this year,” said Arts Superintendent Tim Chapman. “Our director has staged the ballet with new choreography. We also have two new professional dancers, Stacey Slichter and Raul Peinado, that will join our cast for this performance.”
Carrollton’s Nutcracker features more than 90 local dancers, including the center’s ballet program students, dance students from other schools and programs, complete dance novices and seasoned professionals. The show’s crew has worked to make everything in the production evoke the late-19th Century time period when The Nutcracker was originally produced.
The ballet was adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s tale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. A quick synopsis: At the annual Christmas Eve party at the Stahlbaum’s house, the young daughter, Clara, receives a nutcracker from her uncle. After the party, Clara falls into a deep sleep and dreams of a battle with the Rat King, journeys into a land of sweets and meets a handsome prince.
This production is sponsored by Bank OZK and Baxley Jewelers.