Sunday, November 18, 2018

Regional Ballet Companies Bring The Nutcracker to the Adirondacks

After you’ve turkey-trotted your way into eating that second plate of leftovers and made sure no local stores remain “in the red,” it’s time to embrace the arts with a holiday tradition, The Nutcracker.

Tchaikovsky’s ballet,  The Nutcracker, is the perfect blending of gorgeous costumes and magical sets with a timeless story and score.  This family-friendly ballet is just as much a holiday tradition as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. After an exhausting shopping excursion, it’s time to become part of Claire’s adventure as her toy Nutcracker comes to life to defeat the evil Mouse King.

Throughout the Adirondacks there are opportunities to watch this storied ballet come to life. Plattsburgh’s North Country Ballet Ensemble (NCBE) is hosting its 33rd annual production. Professionalism is the focus of NCBE as it draws on its longstanding relationship with New York City’s (NYC) Rebecca Kelly Ballet and other NYC costumers and artistic staff. This year sees the return of two NYC professional dancers, Dances Patrelle’s Therese Wendler as the Sugar Plum Fairy and American Ballet Theatre’s Mikhail Ilyin as the Cavalier, to join the NCBE cast of regional dancers.

Held at the SUNY Plattsburgh Hartman Theatre over Thanksgiving weekend, opening night for the NCBE The Nutcracker is November 23 at 7:30 pm with additional performances on November 24 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm and November 25 at 2 pm. All advanced tickets for the Plattsburgh performances are available online. Lake Placid performance times are December 1 at 1 pm and 7 pm as well as December 2 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 27th annual The Nutcracker ballet on December 7 at 7 pm, December 8 at 1 pm and 6 pm, as well as December 9 at 1 pm. Tchalkovsky’s timeless holiday classic hosts a cast of students ranging in age from 4-18, as well as regional actors, and guest artists from the Staten Island Ballet.

In the Central Adirondacks, The Old Forge Ballet Company gathers community members and dancers throughout Inlet and Old Forge to participate in and attend its December 1st performance.  All tickets can be purchased at the The Strand Theatre, Old Forge for the  2 pm and 7 pm performances. Admission is $12/adults, $10/seniors/teens and free for children under 12.

Just beyond the Blue Line, the Saratoga City Ballet is bringing the full-length traditional ballet to Hart Theatre at The Egg. Tickets for the Friday, December 21 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, December 22 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm shows are available online. Happy Nutcracker Season!

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Diane Chase

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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