In its seventh season, Kannapolis based Piedmont Dance Theatre is preparing for its latest production of “The Nutcracker.” Choreographed by PDT Artistic Director Rebecca Massey Wiley and featuring Tchaikovsky’s score, this year’s production boasts a seasoned cast and includes four guest artists. Courtney Connor and Sergey Pakharez will star as the Sugar Plum and Cavalier.
Last year’s performances played to more than 5,000 audience members, received rave reviews, sold out two performances and earned standing ovations.
“This year’s production will be better than ever,” Wiley says.
Each year she revamps the show’s choreography.”This year the Snow Scene is completely revised and includes a grand pas de deux by the Snow Queen and Snow King,” Wiley says.
‘The Nutcracker’ begins its run at the Kannapolis Performing Arts Center on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. and December 12 at 2 p.m.. Adult ticket prices are $17 and tickets for children 18 and under are $12.
Piedmont Dance Theatre will join forces with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, led by David Hagy, for two performances at Keppel Auditorium, on December 19 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 20 at 2:30 p.m..
Adult prices range from $20 – $25 and tickets for children 18 and under are $10 -$15. The Salisbury Symphony will be led by conductor David Hagy. Ticket information may be found online at PiedmontDanceTheatre.com or by calling (704) 932-8888.
This year’s production has a cast of 75, including children from Piedmont School of Music and Dance, ages 7 to 18.
“I believe children should play children’s roles,” Wiley says. The Nutcracker “celebrates the power of human imagination, which children have in abundance,” Wiley says.
“Attending the Nutcracker is a cherished holiday tradition for many families, and I hope that it will become a new tradition for some families this year, as well,” Wiley adds.
The Nutcracker is one of the last of Tchaikovsky’s full-length ballets. It is based on E.T.A.Hoffman’s tale of The Nutcracker and The Mouse King and was first performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia on Dec. 18, 1892.
For PDT’s production, Wiley has created choreography that strengthens the story line. “I created Clara as a young girl who is beginning to daydream about love,” explains Wiley. “Drosselmeyer’s nephew is presented as the object of Clara’s interest. When she dreams, he becomes the Nutcracker Prince. The Prince then escorts Clara through the Snow Kingdom and the Kingdom of Sweets.”
All ages are encouraged to come, and children will have the chance to meet and pose for photos with the Sugar Plum Fairy and members of the cast.
In addition to these four performances, PDT will be presenting educational performances to students in Cabarrus, Rowan and Iredell counties at the Kannapolis Performing Arts Center on Dec. 10 and 11 at 10:00 am. PDT offers these performances as a field trip opportunity to allow local schools to become more familiar with the arts. For detailed information regarding these programs, call (704) 932 -8888.