A scene from <em>The Nutcracker</em>.
A scene from The Nutcracker.

Hamilton College Department of Music and Utica Dance, Inc., will collaborate on a fully-staged production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13 and 14, in Wellin Hall, Schambach Center.

Performance times are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. both days. The Hamilton College Orchestra will provide live accompaniment for the evening performances. The afternoon performances will have recorded music.

While Utica Dance has performed the Nutcracker for the past 11 years, the collaboration with Hamilton College makes this year’s production distinctive. Utica Dance’s artistic director Nancy Long notes, “This is a rare opportunity for our dancers to perform with live music, which adds an exciting dimension to our production. Nutcracker is best experienced with all of the elements being performed live, and Wellin Hall is the area’s best venue for dance.”

Heather Buchman, conductor of the Hamilton College Orchestra, adds, “Most productions of Nutcracker are done with either a professional orchestra or with recorded music. This is the only Nutcracker production in the area this year with orchestra. The opportunity to collaborate with an outstanding community arts organization, and educational partner, Utica Dance, is very exciting for us.”

A family holiday tradition, the magical tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann depicts a family’s Christmas Eve party. Daughter Clara receives an odd, enchanting gift from her godfather Drosselmeyer – a Nutcracker doll. After the party Clara falls asleep in front of the Christmas tree, with the wooden Nutcracker cradled in her arms. Then a vivid dream begins, and a battle takes place between the Nutcracker, now life size, and the Rat King. The victorious Nutcracker then escorts Clara through a beautiful snow scene to the Land of Sweets, where Clara is treated to an array of colorful dances from around the world.

Tickets are $20 for premium seating and $16 for all others. Seating is general admission within sections. Tickets are available at www.uticadance.com. For more information visit www.uticadance.com or call the Utica Dance studio at 765-0712.

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