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An enchanted forest, the Sugar Plum Fairy and a host of young dancers from Lancaster County will return to the stage for performances of the beloved ballet, “The Nutcracker,” later this month.
The ballet will be performed at 7 p.m. Nov. 24-25 at the Lancaster High School Auditorium. The performance is a collaboration between the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, Lancaster County School District and Kennedy Center Partnership Project, said David Platts, arts coordinator for the school district. The ballet will also be performed for students in the mornings.
Columbia City Ballet dancers will perform with about 50 children from in and around Lancaster County. The children have been practicing since the beginning of November.
“These are some of the best dancers in the nation,” Platts said of the Columbia-based troupe.
William Starrett is the executive director of the show, which has received critical acclaim through the New York Times and Pointe Magazine, Platts said.
“The Nutcracker” tells the story of a young German girl who dreams of a nutcracker prince and a battle against a mouse king. The ballet takes its audience to the Land of Snow, an enchanted forest wonderland with dancing snowflakes and to the Land of Sweets, with its celebration of dances.
“This ballet is approachable by everyone,” Platts said. “It puts you in the holiday spirit and it could easily become a holiday tradition. It will be a great way to kick off Thanksgiving.”
The ballet was performed to a sell-out crowd in Lancaster last year, with 586 tickets sold. Tickets are $20 each, and Platts said he hopes sales will double this year.
Christina Chastain, programs and gallery director for the arts council, pointed out that “The Nutcracker” is the only professional ballet performance in Lancaster.
“It is a tradition of the holiday season,” she said. “If you've never seen it before, you should go, definitely. It's beautiful.”
Arts council director Sam Courtney calls last year’s ballet performance here a “wonderful success.”
"We are thrilled to have Columbia City Ballet back again this year for two nights,” Courtney said. “We hope everyone in Lancaster will come out to see this professional performance of the traditional Christmas ballet."
Tickets are available at the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, 201 W. Gay St. For details about the show, or to buy tickets, call the arts council at 285-7451 or Platts at 320-0796.
– Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at 283-1151