NORWAY - The Dickinson Ballet Company and Northern Michigan Dance Academy will be presenting "The Nutcracker Ballet" at the Norway Fine Arts Center.
Performances are scheduled for Dec. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available in advance at Presents of Mine and the Norway Pharmacy, or at the door. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children under 12.
Gracie Lewellyn of Iron Mountain and Gabe Katz of Milwaukee rehearse the pas de deux from The Nutcracker.
"The Nutcracker has been captivating audiences from children to adults for over a century, as the magnificent characters of E.T.A. Hoffman's 1816 German fairy-tale are brought to life through the dramatic and graceful dancing of the ballet cast as they dance to the familiar emotion-filled music score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky," said an organizer.
The ballet follows the story of the Stahlbaums and their children, Clara (played by Elizabeth Early of Iron Mountain) and Franz (played by Matti Vross of Iron Mountain), as they host a festive holiday party.
Mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer (played by Steve Roell of Iron Mountain) then arrives to give gifts to the children. He presents Clara with a special gift - a nutcracker doll.
Franz breaks the doll, but Uncle Drosselmeyer is able to quickly repair the toy.
When Clara falls asleep that night, her dreams begin. She awakens to discover that her living room is filled with an enormous Christmas tree, large mice, toy soldiers, and the nutcracker, which has grown to life-sized proportions.
The giant Rat Queen (by Robyn To of Kingsford) and her mice battle the soldiers. Unfortunately, the battle ends tragically for the nutcracker, who saved Clara from the Rat Queen.
However, Uncle Drosselmeyer comes to Clara's rescue and works his magic to transform the fallen nutcracker into a handsome prince (played by Gabe Katz of Milwaukee). The prince then leads Clara away to the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets.
In the Land of Snow, the graceful Snow Queen (played by Andrea Roell of Iron Mountain) and her many snowflake friends will perform the classic "Waltz of the Snowflakes."
When Clara and her prince arrive in the Land of Sweets, they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy (played by Gracie Lewellyn of Iron Mountain), a cast of dancers from Spain, Arabia, Russia, and China (played by Natalie Grider of Kingsford), and the Marzipan Queen (Robyn To) with her troupe of candies.
Finally, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the prince perform a pas de deux, followed by the Sugar Plum Fairy's solo performance of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."
Clara awakens and reflects on the mysterious events of the night. As she holds her nutcracker doll, she wonders if it was all just a dream.