It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Twin Cities Ballet will host its annual performance of The Nutcracker from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 in Braden Auditorium.
Directed by Ekaterine Bezirgani, the show features over 100 dancers from the Bloomington-Normal area and a few guest artists.
In addition to a large cast, the ballet also uses over 400 costumes.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the Nutcracker ballet is based on “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by German writer E.T.A. Hoffman.
In the story, a young girl becomes friends with a toy nutcracker that comes to life on Christmas Eve. The nutcracker then battles a villainous mouse king and transforms into a handsome prince.
Company president Julie Weidmann said the performance includes special performers like Mike Theune from Illinois Wesleyan University’s English department.
“The cast this year includes five graduating seniors who have danced with our school for the past 16 years. Ryan Camou is our guest artist from San Francisco City Ballet,” Weidmann said.
According to Weidmann, the local performance began in 1980 and was inspired by the Late Alexander Bennett of Scotland Royal Ballet.
This will be the 38th annual Nutcracker performance at Illinois State University, and Weidmann said it would not be possible without help from the community.
“The school is a not for profit 501C. We are run by volunteers composed of parents [and] community members,” Weidmann said. “I have volunteered for 27 years as the costume seamstress as well as the president of the school for the past many years.”
Weidmann said the ages of dancers in the performance range from three years to adult.
“The most exciting thing about this year’s show is to see the five seniors go from an angel or mouse to Snow Queen and to improve over the years,” Weidmann said.
Tickets start at $37 and are available for purchase online or at the front desk of the Bone Student Center on the first floor.