‘The Nutcracker’ comes to stage this weekend

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  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Fairies practice (with varying degrees of success) for the Today’s Generation production of ‘The Nutcracker.’ The ballet opens Friday.

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    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Bon-bons practice the flower dance for the Today’s Generation production of ‘The Nutcracker,’ opening Friday.

  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Fairies practice (with varying degrees of success) for the Today’s Generation production of ‘The Nutcracker.’ The ballet opens Friday.

  • 1

    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Bon-bons practice the flower dance for the Today’s Generation production of ‘The Nutcracker,’ opening Friday.

MOSES LAKE — Today’s Generation dance company will present the classic ballet “The Nutcracker” Friday and Saturday at the Moses Lake High School theater, 803 E. Sharon Ave. Performances are 7 p.m. Friday, a matinée at 11 a.m. Saturday and the finale at 7 p.m. Saturday.

That’s a time change for the matinée, said instructor Noemi Hanvey. Among other things an earlier matinée gives “our little dancers time to take a nap.”

Today’s Generation and the Ballet Academy of Moses Lake take turns presenting the ballet locally, each performing every other year.

“The Nutcracker” is more than a century old and has been a Christmastime staple for decades. Cast members describe the plot. “So, the whole thing is about a girl. And she falls asleep and has a dream,” said Alana Mar.

“She breaks the nutcracker,” said her fellow dancer Makenzie Holterhoff.

“I don’t know if that’s true,” Alana said.

Makenzie was pretty sure the girl broke the nutcracker – or maybe it was the girl’s brother. Anyway. “There’s a person who has to save another person,” Makenzie said, and after a few seconds she remembered who they were. “Clara and the Prince.” Who saved who was a little unclear.

“There’s some snow, and there’s an evil rat,” Makenzie added.

“And that’s it,” Alana said.

Yes indeed, the main character Clara does receive a beautiful nutcracker as a Christmas present, and in some versions of the story the nutcracker does get broken. And Clara does sneak back downstairs that night, and does fall asleep next to the Christmas tree. In her dreams she has a lot of magical adventures, including a fight between an evil rat and a prince that looks a lot like the nutcracker.

Hanvey said the original ballet was designed for professional dancers, so one of the traditions is for companies to design their own choreography. “I’ve done a lot more re-choreographing this year than in past years,” to accommodate more advanced dancers.

There are a few new pieces for the set as well. “It becomes a little more spectacular every year,” Hanvey said.

Alana and Makenzie are Nutcracker veterans, and for 2017 “we are bon-bons,” Alana said.

“We’re happy people,” Makenzie said. In previous productions they were reindeer. Playing a bon-bon is not more difficult, said Addyson Burns, ”it’s just different.”

Tickets are $7 or $10 when purchased online, depending on the seat, Hanvey said. There’s a fee but even with the fee, buying tickets online is still cheaper than at the door, she said. Tickets will be $9 or $12 at the door, “and that’s if we have tickets available.” Tickets can be purchased via a link at the Today’s Generation website.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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