Southwest Virginia Ballet Serves Up Holiday Tradition

One Hundred and seventy-three cast members from age seven to “seventy something” are in the last week of rehearsals before bringing the beloved holiday classic, “The Nutcracker” to the stage.  Rehearsing since the summer, these men, women and children from across Southwest Virginia make participating in The Nutcracker part of their holiday tradition.

The Nutcracker’s beautiful music, lush scenery and lavish costumes set the perfect backdrop for E.T.A. Hoffmann’s timeless story. Young imaginations will be sparked and audiences of all ages delighted as a Christmas tree grows to huge proportions, mice and soldiers battle, and waltzing Snowflakes whirl about amidst “real” falling snow.  Children will especially enjoy seeing candies and sweets from exotic lands come to life.

Although the story of Clara and her treasured nutcracker doesn’t change from year to year; Artistic Director, Pedro Szalay,  always delights audiences with new costumes, new roles, and new chorography.  This year Mother Ginger has gone “blonde” and is sporting a new dress for herself and new outfits for her many children.  A Chinese Lion has joined in the fun as Clara and her prince enjoy their many treats!

This year will mark Southwest Virginia Ballet’s sixteenth performance of The Nutcracker.  Students from 54 area schools, and local homeschooled students will grace the stage this year.  For many area residents, having a chance to dance in The Nutcracker, the most well-known and beloved story ballet of all time, is simply a dream come true.

Location:  Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre. Dates:  Sat., December 8th at 7:00 pm & Sun., December 9th at 3:00 pm. Buy tickets early for your favorite seats!  Box Office: 540.853.5483

 Clara’s Tea Party

Have tea and other treats with Clara and other Nutcracker characters before the 3 p.m. performance!  Delicious treats, photos with the Nutcracker characters, autographs, and memories of a lifetime are all part of the pre-performance Tea Party.

Location:  Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre Mezzanine. Date:  Sun.,  December 9th, 1:30 p.m.  Box Office:  540.853.5483 (Must also have purchased tickets to the Sunday performance to attend.)

Nutcracker Originals on Auction through December 10th, 10:00 p.m.  See them at Signature 9 Gallery and bid on them online at: All proceeds support productions of Southwest Virginia Ballet.

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