‘Nutcracker’ shimmers with outstanding sets, costumes, choreography, talent


KC Ballet ushers in the Christmas Season with the music of Peter Tchaikovsky and his celebrated ballet, “The Nutcracker” that opened Dec. 3 as the traditional Christmas story returns to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ stage.

“The classic, Victorian-era story by E.T.A. Hoffman featuring Clara, the Nutcracker Prince and Dr. Drosselmeier features Tchaikovsky’s glorious score and enchanting choreography by Devon Carney, Artistic Director of Kansas City Ballet”, a spokesman for the KC Ballet said. All performances at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will be accompanied by the Kansas City Symphony, conducted by Kansas City Ballet Music Director Ramona Pansegrau.

The music, played by the KC Symphony gives depth and quality to the famous tale. Rich, full tones fill the air from start to finish. One would think he or she has been transported in time to a fairy-tale land from long ago. The music ebbs and flows magically, richly, and harmoniously throughout the production.

The beautifully constructed sets are lavish and splendiferous, giving a lush texture to “The Nutcracker.” They serve a colorful backdrop to the dancers’ performances. Combine the symphony’s music, the gorgeous sets, the outstanding choreography, ornate costumes of deep tones, well-trained dancers, and the result bursts from the large Kauffman stage.

The artistry and professionalism of the dancers created a beautiful production throughout. The dancers possess a high quality of training and their performance explodes with majestic beauty. The 2016 production of “The Nutcracker” outshines, out glimmers, out sparkles prior versions. Obviously great pains, attention to detail, and unification of all aspects of the show make this production the one to see.

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The second half of the production showcase the dancing talents with the small numbers in the selections from around the world. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her entourage of Act II demonstrate an array of ballet performances with the Spanish, China, Arabia, Shepherds, etc. brought lots of smiles and applause.

“With over 95% sold to capacity and $2.56M in sales, in the previous year. ‘The Nutcracker’ smashed records, generating $700,000 in ticket sales more than previous year and received rave reviews. 34,600 people of all ages attended ‘The Nutcracker’ marking it as the highest attendance in Kansas City Ballet history,” KC Ballet said.

The dancers are: Danielle Bausinger, Humberto Rivera Blanco, Joshua Bodden, Kaleena Burks, Christopher Costantini, Michael Davis, Amana Devenuta, Liang Fu, Lilliana Hagerman, Kelsey Hellebuyck, Elysa Hotchkiss, Whitney Huell, Hannah Keene, Dillon Malinski, Charles Martin, Taryn Mejia, Emily Mistretta, Tempe Ostergren, Thom Panto, Lamin Pereira Dos Santos, Gustavo Ribeiro, Amaya Rodriguez, James Kirby Rogers, Angelina Sansone, Molly Wagner, Kevin Wilson, Ivan Braatz, Naomi Hergott, Katherine Sawicki, Sarah Joan Smith, Gavin Abercrombie, Miranda Dafoe, Nikolas Gaifullin, Cameron Thomas, Goldie Walberg, Marisa Whiteman.

The production team is: Devon Carney, director; Jeffrey J. Bentley, executive director; Kevin Amy, Alain Vaes, Holly Hynes, Trad A. Burns, Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye, Kristi Capps, Parrish Maynard, Anthony Krutzkamp, Amy Taylor, Victoria Frank, Jennifer Carroll, Grace M. Holmes,

Upcoming show dates and times are: Thur., Dec. 8 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 9 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 10 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 11 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Wed., Dec. 14 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 15 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 16 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 17 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 18 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Wed., Dec. 21 7:30 p.m. Thur., Dec. 22 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 23 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 24 1 p.m.

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Single tickets for all performances of “The Nutcracker” are on sale now. Purchase tickets online at 816.931.8993 or through the KC Ballet website. www.kcballet.org.

Tags: Theater, Ballet, KC Ballet, Dance, Performing Arts, Arts & Entertainment, “The Nutcracker”, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Kansas City Theater, Music

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