‘Nutcracker’ rings in the holidays at Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts

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Courtesy of NW Ballet Co. Northwest Ballet Company Principal Christen Smith with Guest Malachi Bennetts.

Forty-four dancers. Sixty-five handmade costumes. Ten weeks of rehearsals. That’s just a hint of what it takes behind the scenes to bring the Northwest Ballet Company’s beloved “Nutcracker Ballet” to the Flathead Valley. The Company continues its popular tradition with five memorable performances Thanksgiving weekend at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts.

Under the direction of choreographer Marisa Roth and now in its 31st year, the timeless tale of young Clara and her beloved Christmas doll, the “Nutcracker” features the elite Company members of the Northwest Ballet School.

For many of the high school seniors this is their final “Nutcracker.” Two of the principal dancers shared their thoughts about what Northwest Ballet has meant to them.

“I have been dancing with the Northwest Ballet for 14 years now, and have danced in the Nutcracker for 10 of those years,” said Allison Miller, principal dancer and Whitefish High School. “From being a little mouse to dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, every moment spent in this production can only be described as magical. I want to thank Marisa, my family, and my fellow dancers for all the support they have given me on this journey; they have challenged and grown me in countless ways. It’s surreal to think this is my last year on the stage of ‘The Nutcracker,’ but I’m excited to enjoy these last five shows.”

“I have been taking ballet classes and performing for 14-and-a-half years,” said Christen Smith, home school senior and company principal. “During those years I have learned precision and technique, the rewards of hard work, and an appreciation for all dance forms. Dance has also given me confidence, new skills and friends. My dance family will always remain in my heart as a crucial part of who I am today.”

Get TICKETS

Tickets for reserved seating for Thanksgiving weekend’s “Nutcracker Ballet” are available now through Thursday, Nov. 28, at the Kalispell Grand Hotel, 100 Main St., Kalispell, or by calling 755-8100. On show days, tickets will be available at the Bigfork Center’s box office one hour before the performances start. Ticket prices are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors 65 and over, and $15 for children 12 and under.

Shows are 2 and 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30; and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec.1. The ever-popular Sugar Plum Fairy Parade will follow the 2 p.m. matinees on Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call the Northwest Ballet at 755-0760, email info@northwestballet.com, or visit www.northwestballet.com.

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