LIMA — Get a jump on your Christmas spirit Monday night at the Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” performance at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Civic Center.
Local ballet students will be performing side by side with the Moscow Ballet professionals during the performance. The children’s roles are as party children, small mice, snowflakes, snow sprites, snow maidens and during Act II’s variations of the world’s five great heritages.
“We send a ballerina to each town to audition and rehearse with the children, which we did in Lima, and then there’s also a local host dance school. They end up rehearsing the children after the ballerina leaves and they are very instrumental in the program and allowing it to happen. We do reach out and invite all children from all different dance schools for this performance,” said Sally Michael Keyes, director.
Sending the ballerina acts as a marketing tool for the ballet company, as well as promotional piece.
“Because we are not local, we don’t stay in town, so people don’t necessarily know who we are, and we only stay in each town one day. So this is a way for us to actively go to the community, send a ballerina to the community, we get her exposed as much as possible meeting people, which helps us. People know who we are and what we’re doing and possibly increase goodwill instead of just coming in and doing our show and leaving without talking to anybody. It’s really worked. Ballet is not necessarily an easy performance to sell. So it has really helped us get to know communities and communities get to know us, and become a very cool cultural sharing tool also,” said Michael Keyes.
While many have seen the “Nutcracker,” most will wonder what the differences are.
“One thing, so everybody feels comfortable, what is the same is that it is Tchaikovsky’s score. So it is the same amazing music,” said Michael Keyes. “We perform actually to the entire score.”
Russian heritage plays a large role in the differences, but many will be delighted to follow the same story line throughout the ballet and possibly recognize a local dancer or two as well.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511