Wednesday, November 23, 2016

An Adirondack Thanksgiving Tradition: The Nutcracker Ballet

ncbenutcracker_keeganphotographyThis weekend kicks off my family’s Thanksgiving tradition and it doesn’t involve standing in a queue or waking up early to nab a coveted online prize. Our Black Friday tradition involves a performance of the North Country Ballet Ensemble’s (NCBE) The Nutcracker.

Therese Wendler, principal dancer with Rebecca Kelly Ballet and Dances Patrelle, will once again dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the NCBE’s 31st Annual Nutcracker performance. Mikhail Ilyin, a sololist and principal dancer with the Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet and American Ballet Theater, will perform in the role of Cavalier alongside local and regional dancers.

The Nutcracker Ballet is the perfect blending of gorgeous sets and costumes with a timeless story and score.   This family-friendly ballet gestures in the Christmas holidays as we once again are whisked into young Claire’s adventure when her toy Nutcracker comes to life to defeat the evil Mouse King. The magical experience, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, pulls us into a land of life-size toys, dancing sweets and a Nutcracker prince.

Held at the SUNY Plattsburgh Hartman Theatre over Thanksgiving, opening night for NCBE’s The Nutcracker is November 25 at 7:30 pm with additional performances on November 26 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm and November 27 at 2pm. All advanced tickets for the Plattsburgh performances can be purchased at The Party Factory, 10 Plattsburgh Plaza. Lake Placid performance times are December 3 at 1 pm and 7:30 pm as well as December 4 at 1 pm. All tickets for the December performances may be purchased from the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

The Wood Theatre’s resident dance company, Adirondack Ballet Theatre, is presenting its 25th annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s classic storied ballet. December 10 at 2:30 pm and 7 pm as well as December 11 at 2:30 pm.  Of course, this isn’t the only Nutcracker option available The Wood Theatre in Glen Falls. Reality Dance Studio will bring guest artist Cassidy Prince of NYC’s SLK Ballet as this year’s principle dancer for the two matinees as well as two evening productions on December 17 at 2:30 pm and 7 pm and December 18 at 12:30 pm and 4 pm.

For anyone wishing to break with tradition please check out The Hip-Hop Nutcracker with guest star MC Kurtis Blow. This fun, action-packed version takes Tchaikovsky’s score and turns it into a NYC style hip-hop dance party.  The limited coast-to-coast run opened November 17 in Los Angeles and stops in nine other states before arriving for one night at Proctors in Schenectady on December 6.

Whatever your family’s Thanksgiving traditions are, I hope you have a safe travels!

Photo: NCBE The Nutcracker used with the permission of Keegan Photography

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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