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Nutcracker: A holiday tradition 

Ballet Arkansas, ASO combine forces for seasonal favorite.

PLUM CLASSIC: From ASO, Ballet Arkansas.
  • PLUM CLASSIC: From ASO, Ballet Arkansas.

Guest dancers from throughout the U.S., local dancers and musicians from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will help Ballet Arkansas put on the holiday favorite “The Nutcracker” this weekend at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Showtimes are 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Ticket prices range from $18 to $48 and are available through the ASO’s box office (666-1761), online at www.BalletArkansas.org, or at the door.

Before Sunday’s matinee, children can have photos made with the characters at the annual Nutcracker Tea from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Peabody Hotel. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children, with children 3 and under admitted free. Call 223-5150 for more information or tickets.

Searcy native Michael Bearden, a soloist with Ballet West in Utah, will dance as the Sugar Plum Cavalier, while Little Rock native Grace Tilley, who danced the part of the Snow Queen last year, will make her professional debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Little Rock native Lauren McCarty, who is pursuing a dance career in Chicago, will dance the Snow Queen and Dew Drop Fairy.

Arkansan Michael Davis returns as Drosselmeyer, and Christina Munoz, the KATV, Channel 7 news anchor, is back as Frau Stahlbaum. Local lawyer Perry Young will play Mother Ginger. Two young dancers will share the star role of Clara. Saturday’s performer is Katherine Wise, while Hannah Fairman will dance as Clara on Sunday. The cast includes more than 185 children representing 19 Arkansas communities and 25 dance programs.

Harry “Bud” Kerwin and Michelle Jarvis of Indianapolis are back to direct and choreograph the show. Ballet and Shuffle II instructor Karina S. Lehoczky is the ballet mistress.

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