Harmony School performs 'Nutcracker' Saturday and Sunday

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Jordan Gaither, the Snow Queen, at left, and Grace Abbey, the Star of Bethlehem, right, posed in first arabesque, appear together in the finale of 'Nutcracker Gifts of Christmas,' this Saturday and Sunday at Marble Falls High School. The ballet is a creation and production of Harmony School of Creative Arts as a gift to the Highland Lakes.

“Nutcracker Gifts of Christmas,” will be performed Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3, by a troupe of 51 ballet dancers of Harmony School of Creative Arts.

“The Nutcracker Ballet” has been described as a German Romantic short story set to music by a Russian composer and brought to life on stage by a French choreographer. You could add that the late 19th Century piece has been popularized by New York City stagecraft since the 1940's and, now, by dance teachers in the Highland Lakes.

“Harmony school has been doing a version of 'The Nutcracker' for 16 years, but this is a new version of put in place last year,” said Pamela Dillard, the new director of dance at Harmony. “Dance mistress Jane Huber, Rebecca Carmack and Kristi Steere took the Nutcracker choreography and inserted the story of Christ’s birth.

“The blended story follows the traditional Nutcracker but is infused with the Christmas story.”

Traditionalists may notice the addition of “Ave Maria” and “Silent Night.” The finale is performed to “O’ Holy Night.”

In this new version, the Sugar Plum Fairy has become the Star of Bethlehem and the central character, Clara, receives a snow globe of the nativity instead of a nutcracker.

The dancers have been working since September to make this show a success,” said Dillard. “They have put in over 100 hours of preparation time.

“This is a unique performance and the dancers have worked hard to make it an amazing production for the Highland Lakes Area. It is their Christmas gift to the community.”

The performances will be at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday, both at the Marble Falls High School auditorium, 2101 Mustang Drive.

Tickets are available for purchase at the Harmony school, 503 Mormon Mill Road, online at www.tututix.com, through the school website, www.harmonyarts.org or at the door. They are $5 for ages 13 and older and $3 for ages 4-12. Children age 4 and younger are admitted free.

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