Ballet Theatre of Toledo performs ‘Nutcracker’ at Valentine TheatreWritten by Kristen Criswell | | email@example.com
Families can kick off their holiday season with Ballet Theatre of Toledo’s production of “Nutcracker” on Thanksgiving weekend.
“It’s a complete family spectacle with live music, beautiful costumes and scenery,” said Nigel Burgoine, artistic director at the Ballet Theatre of Toledo (BTT).
“The show will be full of excitement and color. I make the story nice and easy to understand,” he said.
The classic ballet’s cast is comprised of BTT students from 7 years old and older as well as three professional dancers from the Cincinnati Ballet. While the ballet is performed by mostly students, the caliber of dancing is still very high, Burgoine said.
“They’re not going to go on stage and do it badly. It’s not a recital and it’s not dance team or cheerleading. This is the arts, if you’re going to do it you’re going to do it properly,” he said.
Students at BTT have been practicing “Nutcracker” since September, rehearsing at least three hours a week per dance.
“I think people should come because we’ve worked very hard and it’s a great show as a result,” said Lauren Burns, 16, who dances as a harlequin doll, snowflake and mirliton. “It’s a show the whole family can enjoy and something fun you can do with the family during Christmas.”
Claire Stoll, 12, who dances as Clara, agrees with her cast mate.
“It’s just a wonderful performance. We’ve worked really hard to make it enjoyable and funny for the audience,” she said.
“Nutcracker” is a ballet tradition, with ballet dancers experiencing new roles through the years, Burgoine said.
“Normally it’s a progression — you build up. Start as a mouse then go up into a solider and up into different roles,” he said.
“I watch the younger dancers sitting on the floor looking at the older ones learning. Then when it’s their turn they get up and they learn it and do it,” Burgoine said. “It’s lovely to watch these dancers progressing, putting their heart and soul into it.”
Burns said her favorite part of “Nutcracker” is the tradition.
“It’s fun to see new people do different parts. You’ll see someone be a party girl and eight years later see that girl being the Queen of the Flowers,” she said.
This year “Nutcracker” will be onstage at the Valentine Theatre, an experience that will be nice for both the dancers and audience, Burgoine said.
“I think it’s cool [to perform in the Valentine Theatre]. I’ve never performed in a big fancy theater like that, it’s going to be really nice and different,” Stoll said.
Performances of “Nutcracker” are Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. and Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. Each year BTT also performs an advance show for special needs individuals and their families.
“It’s something nice for the community. I know a lot of people who would like to go and see a show may have a child with a disability and may not otherwise be able to attend,” he said.
BTT is a not-for-profit dance studio. The studio teaches both male and female dancers.
Tickets to “Nutcracker” are $18, $28 and $38 depending on the section. To purchase tickets to “Nutcracker,” visit www.valentinetheatre.com or call the Valentine Theatre box office at (419) 242-2787.