Dancing snowflakes, cupcakes, angels, dolls and flowers — if The Nutcracker is anything, it’s beautiful. And the Columbus Ballet’s charming rendition is no different.
With ornate costuming and skillful choreography, the seasonal favorite returns again this year to the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts Saturday and Sunday.
To refresh the well-known story in your minds, the setting is Germany circa 1890. It’s Christmas and the Stahlbaum family is decorating for the holiday. When the young Clara receives a nutcracker as her Christmas present and falls asleep that night with him in her arms, her dreams come to life. She and the nutcracker-turned-prince are magically transported to the Land of Snow and the Crystal Palace, where a celebration is held in their honor.
The cast includes more than 100 ballerinas and crew members, including two professional dancers — Jessie Parmelee as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Armando Maldonado as the Cavalier, said Maria Hirsch, artistic director of the Columbus Ballet.
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Hailing from California and Texas respectively, both perform in the second act.
“I wanted to bring some professionals to enhance the production,” Hirsch said. “They’re beautiful dancers.”
All ages will enjoy meeting the classic characters — Uncle Drosselmeyer, mischievous Fritz, the Arabian, Russian, Chinese and Spanish dancers and Mother Ginger.
But for families who have made seeing Peter Tschaikovsky’s famous ballet an annual tradition, there’s a new character to delight this year — an elegant mouse queen instead of the typical mouse king.
The mouse queen, played by 15-year-old Katherine Hinzman, has a brand new costume created specifically for the part. The battle scene, which pits the prince against the mouse queen and her minions, closes the first act.
The ballet includes two acts with an intermission and will last about three hours. Showtimes are 2 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets, which range from $18-$20, are available at the RiverCenter box office or online at www.rivercenter.org.
All online sales are charged a convenience fee, so patrons who want cheaper tickets should visit the box office in person between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on the corner of 10th Street and Broadway.
For more information, call the box office at 706-256-3612.