11-19-14-nutcracker.gifBallet traces its roots to the Italian Renaissance as a combination of the lavish dance, décor, costumes, song, music and poetry that the royalty of Italy and France treasured. Since its inception, the popularity of this dance form has grown and solidified the style as an art form all its own. One of the most magical stories told by ballet is The Nutcracker. This Christmas Classic is on stage at the Crown Coliseum featuring the North Carolina State Ballet on Dec 7, 13 and 14.

The North Carolina State Ballet was created in 1977, and is focused on not only preserving classical ballet choreography but also bringing it to the public. Attending a performance by the ballet is also an amazing opportunity for education. Professional instructors are available to teach students professional grade classic ballet. The commitment to education and preservation is evident in the incredible performances of each dancer and the company as a whole. It has presented many ballets over the years, but a seasonal tradition is their performance of The Nutcracker.11-19-14-nutcracker-2.gif

One of the people integral to the success of the North Carolina State Ballet performance of The Nutcracker is Charlotte Blume. Blume, who owns her own school of dance located at 1312 Morganton Rd., instructs students in classical ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and children’s dance. The school has been instructing students 3 years and older for more than 40 years in classes and after school programs in Cumberland County Schools. However, classical ballet is the main focus of the school.

The Nutcracker originally debuted in Moscow for the 1892 Christmas and made its way to the western world in the 1930s. It had a rocky start at its inception, but now it is a Christmas tradition for many families. Adapted from a fairytale written by E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the ballet tells the story of a young German girl named Clara. On Christmas Eve, the children in Clara’s family are given amazing lifelike dolls. Clara awakens in the middle of the night and is attacked by giant mice. She is defended by the Nutcracker, who transforms into a prince and takes her to the Kingdom of Sweets.

They journey through the magical land and at the end of the amazing night Clara drifts to sleep and awakens in her bed. This magical adventure is entertaining for adults and children alike. The incredible dancing, festive costumes and magical lands deliver an incredible show every single performance. It has been entrancing Christmas audiences for years.

The Nutcracker is on stage Dec. 7, 13 and 14 at 3 p.m. in the Crown Theatre. The theatre is located at 1960 Coliseum Dr. General admission is $19; $15 for military with I.D.; and children’s tickets are $6. Tickets are available at the Crown Box Office, which can be reached at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Fort Bragg Travel and Leisure Center.

Photos: Top right, The North Carolina Ballet brings a holiday classic to life at the Crown Theatre with
The Nutcracker.  Bottom left: Annually, students from Charlotte Blume’s Dance Company join the N.C. Ballet for this amazing performance. 

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