PULLMAN – Festival Dance and Performing Arts will be sponsoring a full production of Eugene Ballet’s critically acclaimed “Nutcracker” for the first time in five years. The performance will be at 3 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Beasley Coliseum.
Having a full “Nutcracker” production at Beasley used to be an annual affair, but because of rising costs of touring and production crews, Festival Dance has chosen to offer smaller holiday shows for the past several years.
“Though these shows, like ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘A Celtic Christmas’ were very popular, many audience members have asked us to bring back the traditional ‘Nutcracker’ ballet,” said Festival Dance Executive Director Cindy Barnhart.
So this year, in spite of economic uncertainties, the Inland Northwest will once again have the opportunity to enjoy a treasured holiday tradition and to journey with Clara to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets to meet the Sugarplum Fairy, Waltzing Flowers and Russian, Chinese and Arabian Dancers.
The Dec. 6 production of “The Nutcracker” will feature a cast of 26 professional Eugene Ballet dancers along with 47 local dance students who have been rehearsing since October with Festival Dance’s ballet mistress, Mia Song Seshiki. The local dancers from Moscow, Pullman, Lewiston and Genesee will be seen as party children, baby mice, angels, lady bugs, dragons and flowers.
To make the show even more festive, the dancers such as the Sugarplum Fairy will be available in the lobby after the performance to meet and greet audience members. Young children can get their pictures taken with the characters, and receive finger puppets distributed by Festival Dance.
“We are thrilled to be able to delight audiences of all ages with this timeless holiday classic,” Barnhart said. “The Eugene Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ isn’t just a ballet performance, it’s a special event for all ages and a treasured holiday tradition.”
Tickets for “The Nutcracker” are available at Festival Dance, Beasley Box Office and all Tickets West outlets. Tickets are $14 to $25 with discounts for children and students. For group rate discounts for 10 or more, contact Festival Dance at 883-3267. More information and video are available at www.festivaldance.org.