The Nutcracker

Fri, 11/25/2005 - 10:06am
By: The Citizen

Nutcracker Ballet
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it’s time to move into the next phase of the holiday season. Shopping, decorating, party giving and party going are all familiar and annual occurrences that pull us into the spirit. Another event that announces the holidays loud and clear each year is the Nutcracker Ballet.

The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the book “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by E.T.A. Hoffman. In 1891, the legendary choreographer Marius Petipa commissioned Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky to write the music for the Nutcracker. In 1892, the first showing of the Nutcracker took place at the Mariinsky Theatre of Russia, home of the Kirov Ballet. The Nutcracker made its way to Western Europe in the 1930’s and to America by 1940, performed by Ballet Russe. The first American full length Nutcracker was performed by the San Francisco Ballet and choreographed by W. Christensen.

Although what is seen on the stage today is different in detail from the original story, the basic plot remains the same; The story of a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle against a Mouse King with seven heads.

When Marius Petipa had the idea to choreograph the story into a ballet, it was actually based on a revision by Alexander Dumas, the French author who wrote “The Count of Monte Cristo.” His version reflects more of what we have come to love as the Nutcracker Ballet.

This year welcomes four Nutcracker performances that are sure to impress audiences.

Georgia Youth Ballet

Georgia Youth Ballet, a regional ballet company serving eleven Atlanta metro counties, will perform its 10th annual Nutcracker this holiday season. The company is based at The Studio in Fayetteville and was founded 10 years ago by professional dancer and choreographer Magdalena Maury. Over the years, Maury, her professional staff, and invited internationally renowned guest instructors have trained dozens of professional ballet company members who perform today all over the world. For each of the last ten years, the company has performed Tchaikovsky's holiday classic, The Nutcracker.

For the second year in a row, GYB's Nutcracker will be performed at the Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts of Coweta County, located near I-85 in Newnan. Performers, varying in age from 4 to over 70, will round out a cast of nearly 150. New costumes, sets and choreography will enhance this year's show, which can be seen Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday's show is Family Night, and all tickets are $8. Tickets for Saturday's performances are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults.

Tickets are on sale at The Studio in Fayetteville and at the Centre in Newnan.

For more information, contact The Studio at 770-716-9858 or visit GYB's website at

The Peachtree City Civic Ballet Company

The Peachtree City Civic Ballet Company will stage a gala performance of The Nutcracker Ballet on Saturday Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady Of Mercy High School in Fayetteville. The performance will benefit the St. Paul Lutheran Church Medical Mission Trip to Honduras. The young dancers will use their talents to assist orphan children and families in need with medical attention, clothing, and toys. According to Director Kathleen Senger, “it is a blessing to share our gifts with those in great need. We will donate half of the $10 ticket price to the medical mission trip. I know the entire Fayette County Community will enjoy this holiday extravaganza while supporting a worthwhile cause.”

The Nutcracker Ballet will also be performed on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. Special discount rates are available for groups, and all Girl Scouts in attendance will receive a unique patch specially designed for this performance. Tickets are $10 and are available at Peachtree City School of Dance, Governor’s Walk Shopping Center, or by phone at 770-632-1544.

Georgia Dance Theatre

Georgia Dance Theatre will present their rendition of this fairy-tale classic on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Starr’s Mill High School Auditorium in Peachtree City.

Children will be thrilled to meet the characters of the ballet, especially the mysterious Herr Drosselmeyer. The dancers promise to delight and enchant the audience with exciting dancing and beautiful costumes. Children will be treated to a visit from Ol' Saint Nick at Saturday's performance.

Tickets are $10 for general admission or at a group rate of $8 per ticket, and are available at Georgia Academy of Dance, 453 Hwy. 74 South in Peachtree City or at the auditorium box office. For further information visit their website at or call 770-631-3128.

Fayette Ballet

Fayette Ballet will present their 18th Anniversary Nutcracker on Dec. 17 and 18 at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School in Fayetteville. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Principal dancers of the Fayette Ballet will be joined by soloists and principal dancers of the Macon Ballet and a cast of 100 area children and adults in the full length 2 hour production. Fayette Ballet is a non-profit organization based in Fayette County.

The Fayette Ballet production will be complete with lavish sets, costumes and scenery and will include a growing Christmas tree, falling snow, the Battle of the Mice and Soldiers and a charming cast of dancers to present a magical, colorful performance.

Tickets are $15 for preferred seating, $12.50 for adults and $8 - $10 for children and seniors. Patron tickets are $22.50 and include choice reserved seating, a listing in the program book, and an invitation to the Patron’s reception immediately following the Saturday evening performance. Group discounts are available to churches, civic organizations, schools and area scout troops. A special family package is available for $49 for reserved seating for six.

Tickets are available at the School of Performing Arts, 155 Bradford Square, Suite E, Fayetteville. Advanced reservations may be made by calling Fayette Ballet at 770-461-9616 or 770-461-0976.

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