Categorized | Entertainment

WHDT to present ‘The Nutcracker’ (Dec. 21-22)

MEDIA RELEASE

West Hawaii Dance Theatre & Academy will present “The Nutcracker,” a holiday classic ballet, Monday, Dec. 21 and Tuesday, Dec. 22 at Kahilu Theatre.

Curtain is at 6 p.m. both evenings.

“The Nutcracker” combines the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky with the charming, old world fairy tale based on the original E.T.A. Hoffman story “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice.”

More than 50 local dancers, guest dancers from The Maui Academy of Performing Arts, and professional dancers from Carolina Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet will make the ballet come to life.

The dancers are accompanied by the music of academy pianist Megumi Kopp and violinist Joel Gimpel.

Choreography is based on the original Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo version, and has be adapted by West Hawaii Dance Theatre’s artistic director Virginia Holte, co-director Midori Satoh, and instructors Jenna Power and Megan Joy Chapman.

What better way to start off the holiday week by watching Clara take a magical dream journey through time?

With the the help of a delicate Sugar Plum Fairy, she travels to the Land of the Sweets where we are entertained by an Arabian Princess, Spicy Spanish Dancer, Giggling Chinese dance, delightful Marzipan, and beautiful Waltzing Flowers.

A Chinese Auction will be held in the lobby.

WHDT is a Non-Profit Educational Arts organization under IRS Code 501 (c)(3). Established in 1989, its mission is to educate the public in dance and other art forms in an environment of cultural excellence. It does so by providing educational outreach school programs, public performances, guest artist residencies, workshops, and daily, year-round classes.

West Hawaii Dance Theatre & Academy is supported by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Hawaii Community Foundation, Vance Wall Foundation, Hawaii Tug and Barge and our local businesses and families.

SHORT SYNOPSIS:

It is Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum house — where they are hosting their annual Christmas party, welcoming their family and friends. The children, Clara and Fritz, are dancing and playing as they welcome their friends, too.

The party grows festive with music and dance as godfather Drosselmeyer arrives. He is a skilled clock and toy maker and always full of surprises. Drosselmeyer draws everyone’s attention as he presents life-size dolls. They are the delight of the party, each taking a turn to dance.

The children begin to open gifts when Drosselmeyer presents his to Clara and Fritz. Although his gift to Fritz is quite nice, he gives Clara a beautiful Nutcracker that becomes the hit of the party.

Fritz becomes jealous and, having a bit more spunk than a boy should have, grabs the Nutcracker from Clara and promptly breaks it. Clara is heartbroken looking on as Drosselmeyer quickly repairs the Nutcracker with a handkerchief he magically draws from the air.

As the evening grows late, the guests depart and the Stahlbaum family retires for the evening. Clara, worried about her beloved Nutcracker, sneaks back to the tree to check on him, falling asleep with him in her arms.

The Fight Scene

As the clock strikes midnight strange things begin to happen. Clara begins shrinking as her beautiful Christmas tree grows high above her. The toys around the tree come to life while the room fills with an army of mice, led by the fierce Mouse King. As the Nutcracker awakens, he leads his army of toy soldiers into battle with the mice. The Mouse King corners the Nutcracker and battles him one-on-one. The Nutcracker seems to be no match for the Mouse King.

The Nutcracker and his army can go on no longer and are captured by the mice and their king. Clara makes a final daring charge throwing her slipper at the Mouse King, hitting him square on the head. The Mouse King drops to the floor and the mice run away, carrying off their leader’s lifeless body.

The Land of Snow

The Nutcracker turns into a Prince and takes Clara on a journey to the Land of Snow, an enchanted forest wonderland where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes.

The Land of Sweets

Herr Drosselmeyer and the Prince escort Clara to the Land of Sweets where they are greeted by Baby Angels, Angel Princesses, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Prince tells her about their daring battle with the army of mice and she rewards them with a celebration of dances, including spicy Spanish Dancers, the exotic Arabian Princess, Russian Dancers, Giggling Chinese, Delicate Marzipan Treats, Pastry Chefs, Candy Canes and Waltzing Flowers.

As a finale, the Sugar Plum Fairy dances a delicate pointe solo for the couple.

The Dream Ends

Clara awakens from her dream and finds herself by her Christmas tree with her beloved Nutcracker. Or, Was it a dream after all?

Tickets are on sale at Kahilu Theatre box office. Call 885-6868.

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