The Charleston Ballet with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra are collaborating once again this year to bring you The Nutcracker on Friday, December 8th at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday December 9th at 2:00 p.m. at the Clay Center.
This timeless holiday classic comes alive with over 170 dancers, musicians and singers in what is sure to be an event to remember.
Here are some fun facts about the Nutcracker passed along from the Charleston Ballet.
1. “The Nutcracker” ballet premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on December 18, 1892, after a collaboration with Pyotr Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa.
2. Tchaikovsky used the then newly-invented celesta to create the bell-like sound in the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”.
3. Mother Ginger was originally known as “Mere Gigogne” after the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe.
4. The Nutcracker is the only major ballet with children as some of the main characters.
5. The Charleston Ballet has performed the 90 shows of the Nutcracker in the past 20 years for a combined audience of over 89,000 people.
6. The WV Symphony Orchestra and Charleston Ballet joined forces in 2002 at the Municipal Auditorium, and in 2003 moved to the Clay Center.
7. Every year, students from the American Academy Ballet audition for roles in the production.
8. Company members log more than 300 rehearsal hours for the performance – in addition to 12-15 weekly hours of class.
9. One tutu can take up to 90 hours and 100 yards of tulle to complete.
10 Over 170 musicians, dancers and singers perform in The Nutcracker every year.
Tickets may be purchased through the Clay Center Box Office 304-561-3570 or online.