‘Nutcracker’ planned this weekend

What: “Nutcracker,” by Dancer’s Alley

When: Sunday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Where: Miller Performing Arts Center, Jefferson City

Tickets: $15 for adults; $12 for children age 12 and younger. Tickets are available at Miller box office an hour before each show

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A holiday tradition in Jefferson City is back at Miller Performing Arts Center.

Dancers’ Alley is presenting its eighth production of “The Nutcracker,” a show that they have performed every other year since 1999.

“The Nutcracker” is a classical ballet in two acts based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s fairytale “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” written in 1816. With music by Tchaikovsky and original choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, the ballet has become a holiday favorite.

Owner Katie Howland said auditions for the ballet were held in May and rehearsals were held each Saturday from August through November for students, making it a huge time commitment.

Howland said there are a quite a few community residents who also take part in the production. Brian Harper has played the role of the father for each of the previous shows and is reprising the role again.

The performance is highlighted by illusions from magician Aaron Gillam, who plays Drosselmeyer, assisted by David Gillam.

The production includes sets by Robert Howland and Jacob Bigelow, props by Michelle Ford and costumes by Howland and Maria Bish. Many parents have devoted their time and talent to helping with the technical aspects.

There are more than 100 performers on stage at various times who portray angels, mice, soldiers, a snow queen and snowflakes, reindeer, candy canes, princesses, a nutcracker and more. There is also a large backstage crew to handle the set changes, props and of course the growing Christmas tree, famous in the ballet.

“This is a wonderful tradition. I am grateful that the community supports the arts and particularly a full-length ballet. This gives the kids a wonderful experience and is a joy to direct,” Howland said.

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