Chattanooga Ballet, CSO mark 25 years with Tchaikovsky's classic 'The Nutcracker'

By Staff Report Article posted on Thu. Dec. 6th, 2012

IF YOU GO

• What: Chattanooga Ballet's "The Nutcracker" with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera.

• When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.

• Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.

• Admission: $15 and $19; discounts for children and seniors.

• Phone: 265-0617, 642-8497.

• Website: www.ChattanoogaOnStage.com.

NUTCRACKER BY THE NUMBERS

352 Number of costumes

387 Number of rehearsal hours

25 Years of consecutive performances

4,000 Number of volunteers in those years

6,850 Number of schoolchildren who have attended performances over that time

Part of the holiday soundtrack for thousands of Chattanoogans over the years will lilt from the orchestra pit at the Tivoli Theatre this weekend. The occasion is the 25th anniversary of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," to be presented by Chattanooga Ballet with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera.

According to Bob Willie, general director of Chattanooga Ballet, more than 240,000 people have attended the production since it began in 1988, making it one of the most attended performing arts events in the state.

It has grown to feature a cast of about 220 performers, including members of the professional company, guest artists and dance students from throughout the tri-state area.

"The production continues to grow in size, scope and artistic quality," said Willie. "To keep the production fresh and exciting, we continue to upgrade the choreography and costumes and enhance the production with nationally acclaimed guest artists."

Dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy will be professional company member Amanda Walker Gray, a recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission dance fellowship for excellence in dance performance. She will be partnered with guest artist Dylan Keane from the Suzanne Farrell Company in Washington, D.C.

Guest artist Diamond Lagrave of Pas de Vie Ballet in Tallahassee, Fla., will perform the roles of Snow Cavalier and Russian.

Other dancers in leading roles are Kirsten Hyde, Era Terry, Laura Schlatter and Hope Smisson. The role of Clara will be shared by Aileen Bell and McKayla Locke. Avery Tisdale and Martin McKenzie will perform the role of the Nutcracker Prince.

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