Two youth ballet companies will offer holiday programs during the month of December in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
The Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet Co. will present its annual holiday performance of the "Nutcracker" in Parkersburg on Friday and Marietta on Friday, Dec. 17, while the Schrader Youth Ballet Co. will present "An Evening of Holiday Dance" on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Smoot Theatre in downtown Parkersburg.
The MOVB will perform the "Nutcracker" at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Blennerhassett School auditorium on Jewell Road south of Parkersburg. The Marietta performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, in the Marietta High School auditorium on Davis Avenue.
Tickets for the MOVB shows are $10 for adults and $6 for children and are available by calling (304) 422-5538 or at the door on the nights of the shows. Tickets are also available at Sugden Books in Marietta and at Artsbridge on Market Street and at the MOVB on Ann Street in Parkersburg.
More information is available online at www.movballet.com.
The joy of Christmas is never more evident than in the "Nutcracker," said MOVB spokeswoman Suzy Gunter. The company has toured extensively throughout a four-state area since 1981, presenting the "Nutcracker" to audiences of over 500,000, including thousands of public school children in West Virginia and Ohio.
If you go
What: Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet Company's annual performance of the "Nutcracker."
When and Where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Smoot Theatre in downtown Parkersburg; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Washington State Community College's Graham Auditorium.
Tickets: $10 for adults, $6 for children; available by calling (304) 422-5538 or at the door, as well as at Sugden Books in Marietta and at Artsbridge on Market Street and at the MOVB on Ann Street in Parkersburg.
If you go
What: Schrader Youth Ballet Company's "An Evening of Holiday Dance."
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18.
Where: Smoot Theatre, downtown Parkersburg.
Tickets: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students; available at the Smoot or www.schraderyouthballet.com
The classic full-length version of the ballet was first presented in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1892. Original music composed exclusively for the ballet was written by P.I. Tchaikovsky and original choreography was set by M. Petipa and L. Ivanov.
Based on the book by E.T.A. Hoffman, the ballet follows the dreams of a little girl named Clara. At the family Christmas party, her godfather Drosselmeyer presents her with a mysterious gift of a Nutcracker and her jealous little brother Fritz soon breaks it. As the guests depart, Clara comes quietly back into the living room to see her new toy and falls asleep there. Her dreams take her through a battle between the Mouse King and the Nutcracker, a visit to the Land of Sweets and to the snow kingdom, Gunter said.
Gunter will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, guest artist Jason Tanner will perform as the Cavalier and MOVB alumna Jolene (Troisi) Craig will perform in the first act's party scene.
The Schrader Youth Ballet will close out the holiday season at the Smoot when it presents "An Evening of Holiday Dance" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at the theater at 213 Fifth St.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets and information are available at the Smoot or online at www.schraderyouthballet.com.
The SYBC show will include "The Nutcracker: Clara's Dream," choreographed especially for the company by the late Duncan Noble, and the premiere of "Hallelujah," a new contemporary ballet choreographed by Teri Seier of New York City, which will be performed in dance and American Sign Language.
In celebration of Parkersburg's Bicentennial, SYBC will also present "Songs Along the River," presented through a grant from Target, as part of the evening's show. Set to the music of Aaron Copland, it is the story of the settlers' journey from Europe to the local community on the Ohio River.
In previous years, teacher Velma Schrader said she brought in professional dancers from Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and other places to dance the principal roles.
"This season, however, the entire program will be presented by dancers from the company and community," Schrader said. "The audience will be surprised and delighted by how hard they have worked and what they have accomplished."
Prior to the Smoot show, the company will give performances of "Songs Along the River" on Friday, Dec. 17, to students at Jefferson Elementary Center and Parkersburg Catholic High School.