Each year the lake Arrowhead Classical Ballet Company produces a not to be forgotten production of everyone’s holiday favorite……”The Nutcracker.” It is always thrilling, the costumes are colorful, the dancing is fabulous and it is a holiday tradition in the local mountain areas that I hope never ends.
Set, of course, to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent music, while the local production is just that, local, it is first-rate and so delightful. From the tiniest of the dancers to the older, more mature dancers, it is a holiday treat for everyone who attends. This year’s performances will be held on November 28, 29 and 30 in the Rim High Performing Arts Theater. The address is 27400 Hwy. 18 in Lake Arrowhead….you can’t miss it!
Hundreds of hours go into this local production. From the colorful costumes, to the sets that have to be erected (and then taken back down following the last performance), to ticket sales, raising funds, holding auditions, hiring professional dancers forthe Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, printing tickets, rehearsals, more rehearsals, finding sponsors, working with the school district for the rental of the Rim High Performing Arts Center, work on “The Nutcracker” is an ongoing year-round project.
Tickets for this always special performance are $18 if you order online by October 15 at the company’s website (www.arrowheadballet.org) or after that date tickets will be $20.
The performances are usually a “sell-out” so if you want to attend it is important that you order tickets or purchase them at The Studio Boutique or the dance studio, both of which are located on lower level of Lake Arrowhead Village (looking toward the Lake Arrowhead Resort).
One of the most charming parts of this annual production is that the children in the Lake Arrowhead School of Dance all participate. We “older people” forget that this ballet and its famous story are really centered around children so it is a perfect production. Watching children scamper across the stage is such fun and to watch them as they sometimes watch each other is also a delight. While they all wait for their “part” they are sequestered away under the care of parents who provide them with love and support and fun things to do while they wait for the part in the production.
One of the ballet company’s largest investments in this annual event is the hiring of professional ballet dancers who specialize in dancing the magnificent pas de deux between the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier. Tchaikovsky’s soaring music always sends chills down my spine during this particular part of the ballet and it certainly is, to me, the highlight that I look forward to during each performance. It truly is breathtaking. The strength of these professional dancers is extraordinary and their pas de deux always brings tremendous applause (and they earn it!).
Each year thousands of ballet companies around the world give performances of this wonderful holiday bon-bon but I really would challenge any of them to be as charming as this local production.
Purchase a ticket (or two or three) and come and enjoy. It’s performed right here in the beautiful community of Lake Arrowhead….you couldn’t find one closer or more delightful one if you tried.