Kingsport Ballet is moving all manner of sets, backdrops, props, costumes, dancers, directors and teachers into Greeneville for its annual production of “The Nutcracker.”
Public performances of the holiday classic are set for 7 p.m., Dec. 2 and 3 at Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
New this year is “A Mini-Nutcracker — Storytelling and Ballet,” an abbreviated production of the full-length holiday ballet, intended for younger audiences. The mini-production will be staged at 6 p.m., Dec. 21 and 22 at the Kingsport Renaissance Center.
“Picture a storybook come to life,” said Valeria Sinyavskaya, Kingsport Ballet’s artistic director. “We hope to capture the children’s imaginations with the story, told in a way they can easily understand by seeing it played out on the stage.”
In Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet, young Clara is given a Nutcracker for Christmas by her godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer. But this is no ordinary Nutcracker, as Clara learns that night after she falls asleep with it in her arms.
After a great battle with the Mouse King, the Nutcracker turns into a Prince, who takes Clara on a magical journey through the Land of the Snow to the Kingdom of the Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy honors the couple with entertainment from around the world.
More than 50 dancers in the cast travel from across the Tri-Cities and Southwest Virginia to train at Kingsport Ballet and to participate in its “Nutcracker” production.
Kingsport Ballet’s production features guest appearances by several professional artists.
Among this year’s professionals is Sergey Gorbatov of Saint Petersburg, Russia’s, who takes the NPAC stage as Herr Drosselmeyer. Gorbatov trained with and taught at the Vaganova School of the Maryinski Theatre and has been a guest with Kingsport Ballet productions in the past. He has taught and performed internationally and will share his talents with the East Tennessee community at Kingsport Ballet this season.
At 5 p.m., Saturday, prior to the evening performance, children ages 4-9 can enjoy Clara’s Tea Party, a traditional “tea” held in the NPAC mezzanine. The party is a yearly treat for children to meet some of the cast members and take home a keepsake ornament.
Tickets to Clara’s party are $10 and may be purchased through the NPAC box office.
Tickets to the evening ballets are $20 for adults; $16 for seniors and students; $15 for groups; and $10 for children 5 and younger.
For tickets, call the NPAC box office at (423) 638-1679.
Tickets to “A Mini-Nutcracker” are $10 and may be purchased by calling the Kingsport Renaissance Center Theatre at (423) 392-8417.
To find out more about Kingsport Ballet, visit kingsportballet.org or join its Facebook fan site.