12-08-10-nutcracker.gifIf you haven’t made it to this year’s rendition of The Nutcracker Ballet, there is still time. The North Carolina State Ballet is performing at the Crown Coliseum Complex on Dec. 11 and 12. It’s the 33rd consecutive year of The Nutcracker performing in Fayetteville and will feature a cast of more than 60 dancers and actors.

The story is the same beloved tale of Clara and the enchanted Nutcracker that she receives from her godfather, Her Drosslemeyer. Clara experiences the horrible Mouse King, and travels with the romantic Nutcracker Prince to the Land of Snow and Kingdom of Sweets.

International guest artists Gabor Kapin and Alicia Fabry will perform. Kapin dances Cavalier to Fabry’s Sugar Plum Fairies.

Kapin also performs as the Nutcracker Prince with Anne Talkington and April Glasper as Clara. Little Clara is danced by Brooke Bielecki, Victoria Spence and Charlie Holly.

Glasper also dances the Jewel in ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ and alternates the “Snow Queen” with Destiny Johnson. Daniel Moore plays “Drosslemeyer,” the Magician.

“We have an outstanding cast and wonderful, international guest performers,” said Charlotte Blume, the president of the North Carolina State Ballet and director of the two act, three scene production. “Most of the dancers in our production are not new to the performance, many of them have been dancing in it for years and have grown up into their parts — they may start out as a mouse and move up from there as the years pass.”

A lot of hard work has gone into this production. In fact, Blume says that it seems that as soon as the production ends, it feels like they start right into working on next year’s performance.

Auditions are held around labor day and from early fall until the performance, the dancers are working to learn their parts so they can bring joy to the audience when the holidays roll around.

The scenery has been updated for a few of the acts, adding freshness and new fl avor to the production. North Carolina School of the Arts graduate Jennifer O’Kelly of O’Kelly Design Studios designed the backdrop for Act I.

Local artist Cindy Slappey and her former art student Caroline Geiger designed and painted a backdrop for Act II. It shows the entrance to the Land of Sweets and the Castle of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

“There are so many reasons that people come to see The Nutcracker,” said Blume. “It may be that it is a family tradition, or that they know people in the cast, or that they are looking for an opportunity to see a high quality performance of The Nutcracker at a reasonable price. Regardless of the reason, this is an outstanding production that the entire family will enjoy.”

Purchase tickets at the Crown Center box offi ce and at www.ticketmaster.com. General seating costs $16. Military personnel receive a discounted price of $12 at the Crown Center Box Offi ce with a military ID.

The curtain rises at 3 p.m. for all shows, Visit www. ncstateballet.com for more information.

Photo: Daniel Moore as Drosslemeyer.

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