Clara, her courageous soldier, and the sugar plum fairies will be chassé-ing across a variety of stages in three unique “The Nutcracker” productions beginning Dec. 1.
Along with the regular evening shows, each company or studio will also host educational outreach programs for students, along with additional special events.
International Ballet performs The Nutcracker, in partnership with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, at the Peace Center Concert Hall Dec. 1-3. This year’s guest artists include Cuban ballet sensations Adiarys Almeida and Taras Domitro, who are performing in Greenville for the first time through a sponsorship by Graham and Greta Somerville.
“This season, our audiences will be able to enjoy the artistry of our accomplished dancers alongside these incredibly respected and world-renowned guest artists of the ballet world,” said International Ballet’s Artistic Director Vlada Kysselova.
As Greenville’s only production of The Nutcracker with a live orchestra, it will also feature a live choir in the snow scene, led by Arlen Clarke of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
“It is incredibly fortunate that audiences have the opportunity to experience Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece live, for there is no substitute for the fantastic energy that fills the hall when you combine musical mastery with the artistic expression of ballet. It is the perfect note to start the holiday season on,” said Greenville Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Julianne Fish.
Additionally, International Ballet will host the Nutcracker Tea Party on Dec. 10, at the Poinsett Club, featuring a performance by IB’s Nutcracker dancers, sweets by Jonathan Caleb Cake, and story time, among other holiday themed activities.
“International Ballet’s Nutcracker Tea Party is that quintessential childhood tradition that brings the holidays to life and gives young people and up-close experience with the art of dance,” said Lena Forster, International Ballet executive director.
The Nutcracker with Greenville Symphony Orchestra
Dec. 1 (school performance) – 10:30 a.m.; Dec. 2 – 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 3 – 3pm
Peace Center Concert Hall, 300 S. Main St.
Tickets: $18-$55 (Use code FamilyPack to Buy 3, Get 1 Free)
The Nutcracker Tea
Dec. 10, 1-3 p.m.
Poinsett Club, 807 E. Washington St.
The Greenville Ballet will present the 33rd annual production of executive director Andrew Kuharsky’s adaptation of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 15 and 16 at 3 p.m. at Furman University’s McAlister Auditorium.
Guest dancer Crystal Serrano from Dance Theatre of Harlem will perform with 90 local dancers, including Kuharsky’s four grandchildren. This year’s production will also include the premier of brand new sets for Act 2.
The sets and the storyline are modeled after George Balanchine’s internationally famous version, with the exception of some of the women’s costuming. (Read: hoop skirts.)
“It’s more ‘Gone with the Wind’ than traditional German,” Kukarsky says.
Kuharsky said the educational performance on Dec. 15 is a main reason the company moved its production from the Peace Center to McAlister Auditorium in 2002 because it was more cost effective to offer significantly discounted seats.
“A lot of kids don’t have exposure to dance,” he says.
Dec. 15, 10:30 a.m. (student performance); Dec. 16, 3 p.m.
McAlister Auditorium, Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Hwy
Carolina Ballet Theatre
Carolina Ballet Theatre presents “The Nutcracker: Once Upon A Time in Greenville,” a European-inspired production that will feature all new costumes, sets, backdrops, and props.
The libretto is adapted from E.T. A. Hoffmann’s classic story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” Choreographed by CBT Artistic Director Herman Justo, the performance is based on the original Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov ballet.
On opening night, Carolina Ballet Theatre will host guest artists from world renowned ballet companies – Herman Cornejo, principal at American Ballet Theater and partner of ABT’s Misty Copeland, and his sister, Erica Cornejo, principal at Boston Ballet.
The three performances feature a 100-plus person cast including CBT Company dancers. The Meyer Center for Special Children students will perform during the opening scene.
Additionally, this year CBT has partnered with the S.C. Football Hall of Fame to bring celebrity athletes to the stage, including former Tigers Patrick Sapp and Tajh Boyd.
Before the evening performances and following the matinee, Table 301 will serve a Nutcracker Banquet in Genevieve’s. Included will be guest dancers and treat bags for the children.
Carolina Ballet Theatre:
Dec. 22, 7 p.m.; Dec. 23, 2:30 and 7 p.m.
Peace Center Concert Hall, 300 S. Main St.