If you’re looking for an authentic production of the classic holiday ballet “The Nutcracker,” look no further than Carolina Ballet.
This production, performed at The Township every year over Thanksgiving weekend, was built using the original conductor’s score, with detailed notes included with the music about what should be happening on stage during each movement. It’s the way the ballet was performed when choreographer Marius Petipa worked with Tchaikovsky for the ballet’s 1892 debut at the Imperial Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Tchaikovsky’s famous score will be performed by the Columbia Festival Orchestra, and a melody during the snow scene in Act I will be performed by Capella Pueri, a children’s chorus from St. Peter’s Catholic Church.
“We are the only Nutcracker that performs with live music in all of Columbia,” said John Whitehead, executive director of the Columbia Music Festival Association (CMFA), of which Carolina Ballet and the Columbia Festival Orchestra are both members. CMFA was formed in 1897 as a partnership between the local government and the community of Columbia. The consortium of performance arts groups works to educate and train artists, and to produce and promote the performing arts throughout the community.
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Carolina Ballet was founded by Ann Brodie in 1988, when her first ballet company, Columbia City Ballet, became a professional company.
Carolina Ballet has remained a civic company, training community dancers of all ages, many of whom have gone on to professional careers, Whitehead said.
The role of the Nutcracker will be performed by guest artist Ernesto Boada, a dancer from Cuba. The Sugar Plum Fairy will be performed by Ashley Mallory, a Carolina Ballet alumni and current soloist with the Savannah Ballet.
Bridget Winston, Special to The State