Experience all the magic of the holiday classic with original costume designs, dazzling hand scenery, and a host of characters as Downtown Dance Conservatory presents The Old World Nutcracker. With now three performances, DDC’s Nutcracker takes the stage on November 20th at 10 AM, November 21st at 7PM, and November 22nd at 2PM at Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center.
Housed in the Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, the Conservatory has been the heart of the local classical ballet community for over 12 years. The organization has collaborated, staged, and hosted many Nutcracker productions. It’s collaboration of Le Casse Noix Moderne: The Modern Nutcracker with the Etowah Youth Orchestras made a run for two years including a sell -out production in New York City. The production was also nominated as one of the top 50 most original Nutcrackers in the Nation with the Goldstar Nutcracker award. The DDC has also hosted, auditioned, and staged the Great Russian Nutcracker for two seasons with the
internationally recognized Moscow Ballet. “The community agreed that with the quality of ballet or students are able to present, that we could produce our own locally grown Nutcracker with all the magic and glamour of the larger productions performed around the country,” said Artistic Director Linze Rickles McRae. And so, Gadsden’s Old World Nutcracker was born.
Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is one of the most widely performed ballet and musical scores in the world. McRae has taken inspiration from the original Marius Petipa choreography and story from E.T.A Hoffman by adding a Russian flare with an interesting twist on the origins and culture of the Nutcracker tradition. The story begins with a Christmas Eve gathering at the Stahlbaum house. Marie and her little brother Fritz are enjoying the evening’s festivities when their mysterious godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer, arrives. As a famous toymaker, he brings his Matryoshka dolls, his Shepherdess dolls, and his little lamb doll to dance for all the children of the party. Marie receives the most beautiful doll of all, a Nutcracker Princess Soldier. As the party grows late and the guests leave, Marie falls asleep under the tree with her beloved doll. Marie awakens at the chime of midnight to find the Evil Spider Queen, Evilla Baba Yaga, and her army of spiders circling the room. She looks around to see that the room has grown and she is now the size of her toys. Her brave Nutcracker Princess has come to life! A battle ensues, as the Nutcracker Princess wins victory over the Spider Queen. She whisks Marie away to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy, Queen of the Land of Sweets. Marie is met by frozen flurries to find herself in a magical land where the confectionery delights from all the corners of the world join in the dance to celebrate.
Dancers all around the community ages 7-12 turned out to audition for the community youth cast this year. Those dancers perform alongside the upper school and principal soloists of the DDC.
Tickets range in price from $13-$17 and may be purchased at the door or online.