Sugarplums, Nutcrackers, and … Dogs: LEB’s Nutcracker has a Few Surprises

Categories:  Events    Dance
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 1:00 PM
Sugarplums, Nutcrackers, and … Dogs: LEB’s Nutcracker has a Few Surprises by Mary Birdsong

Saturday, Dec. 17

Holiday traditions can be comforting, helping to straighten out other kinks that may have come your way in the past year. Lake Erie Ballet’s spun-sugar confection, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, may be just the solace you need.

The Nutcracker’s storyline is well known, but some changes are in store for LEB’s 58th staging of it, thanks to new partnerships this year.

The Nutcracker’s storyline is well known, but some changes are in store for LEB’s 58th staging of it, thanks to new partnerships this year.

More than 100 dancers will bring The Nutcracker to life, 40 of them from Mercyhurst University’s dance department. Lesley Bories-Scalise, LEB’s new artistic director, is delighted to have the two organizations working together. “Both Tauna Hunter [chair of the Mercyhurst University Dance Department] and I are extremely pleased and thrilled to continue working together with our dancers and students.”

In addition, the Erie Philharmonic will provide the music this year. Steve Weiser, executive director of Erie Philharmonic explains, “The Erie Phil used to perform The Nutcracker on an annual basis with what was then the Erie Civic Ballet. We are all very excited to be able to climb down into the pit, while the dancers of the Lake Erie Ballet take the stage.”

Those dancers will share the stage with adoptable dogs from the ANNA Shelter in the Act 1 Christmas party. Ruth Thompson, director of ANNA, is thrilled for the shelter to be included. “Our dogs get to be on stage as part of a classic family tradition. How amazing is that?” The furry stars will also be in the lobby afterwards, looking for forever homes among the crowd. If you can’t adopt right now, a chance to make a donation to the shelter will be possible, too.

Either one, plus the holiday favorite of sugarplums, whimsy, and make-believe, is a sweet holiday tonic to enjoy. – Mary Birdsong

8 p.m. on Dec. 17; 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 // Warner Theatre, 811 State St. // Tickets at erieevents.com/events/the-nutcracker-2/

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