Mackenzee Simms / Contributing Writer
The Alabama Ballet will be performing Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” at the Wright Center on Dec. 15-18 and Dec. 20-22 with shows at 7:30 on Fridays and Saturdays and shows at 2:30 on Saturdays and Sundays. This event is a beloved tradition at Samford that audiences will not want to miss.
Based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s 1816 novel “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” the ballet has delighted audiences since its very first performance in 1892. The classic Christmas story follows Clara, a young girl that enters a magical world on Christmas Eve. With the help of a toy nutcracker prince brought to life, Clara goes on an epic adventure and fights an army of mice.
According to the Alabama Ballet’s description of the performance, “Tchaikovsky’s beloved melodies transport the young and young at heart to a magical world where mischievous mice besiege a battalion of toy soldiers and an onstage blizzard leads to an enchanted Land of Sweets.”
Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” is a ballet choreographed by George Balanchine, one of the most influential contemporary ballet choreographers of the 20th century. Balanchine’s work is so revered that only eight ballet companies in the world are licensed by The Balanchine Trust to perform his Nutcracker, including the Alabama Ballet.
Ashlyn McClellan, the PR and Marketing Manager for the Alabama Ballet, explains the difference of Balanchine’s perfected choreography.
“A lot of the more traditional versions the dancers don’t do too much, other than the principals. Whereas in Balanchine’s version, the corp de ballet work is demanding and challenging for the dancers,” McClellan said. “It is something that they work hard at perfecting.”
In addition to the divine professional ballerinas, the performance will also feature nearly 100 children from the Birmingham area that get the opportunity to perform on stage beside the professional company as a part of the production’s community cast every year.
Tickets to this event can be purchased through the Alabama Ballet’s website for $40. College students are able to buy tickets at the discounted price of $25.