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Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Friday, November 12, 2010

IU Ballet Theater presents annual performance of 'The Nutcracker'

WHAT: IU Ballet Theater's The Nutcracker by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
WHEN: Dec. 3-4, 8 p.m.; Dec. 4-5, 2 p.m.
WHERE: IU's Musical Arts Center, 101 N. Jordan Ave., just north of the intersection at Third Street.
TICKETS: Currently on sale through the Musical Arts Center box office and Ticketmaster, tickets are $18-35 for all performances. The box office hours are Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Get ticket information online at, or call the box office at 812-855-7433.

Nov. 12, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Ballet Theater will present its 52nd annual production of The Nutcracker at the Musical Arts Center, Dec. 3-4 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 4-5 at 2 p.m.

The popular production will feature choreography created specifically for the Jacobs School of Music's dancers by Michael Vernon, chair of the Jacobs School Ballet Department.

"The level of dancing continues to improve," said Vernon. "There is always something new to see in the ballet because the dancers change every year. The freshmen, who constitute the corps de ballet in the waltz, are, in my opinion, one of the best freshmen classes ever. The audience will really enjoy that dance."

The role of the Sugar Plum Fairy will be danced by different dancers at each performance this year. "We have four Sugar Plum Fairy leads that are all exceptional dancers," Vernon said.

The beloved score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky will be played by the University Orchestra under guest conductor Jorge Carciofolo. The set was designed by C. David Higgins, chair of the Jacobs School's Opera Studies Department.

The Nutcracker, composed in 1892, is based on an old German fairy tale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, written in 1816 by E.T.A. Hoffmann. The ballet did not become a staple of American Christmas culture until the 1960s, following George Balanchine's production at the New York City Ballet in 1954.

This perennial favorite tells the story of young Clara, who receives a toy soldier nutcracker from her mysterious godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer. When she falls asleep with the nutcracker in her arms and starts to dream, magical things begin to happen. The show is especially captivating for young audience members -- as well as those who enjoy classical ballet -- because of its beautiful music, fanciful costumes and dreamlike storyline.

As in major cities around the country, The Nutcracker has become integral to Bloomington's holiday traditions -- as well as to the IU Ballet Theater season.

Tickets are on sale now through the Musical Arts Center box office (812-855-7433), online at or at any Ticketmaster location. Prices range from $18 to $35.

A special "Nutcracker Tea" will be offered following the weekend matinees, Dec. 4-5, starting at approximately 4:30 p.m., in the Musical Arts Center lobby. While enjoying an assortment of finger foods and beverages, children and their families will be offered an opportunity to greet and take photographs with members of the cast.

Tickets for the tea are $10 per child, while a pair of chaperones is free, and are available from the MAC box office. A poster for signatures from the ballet's characters is included with each ticket.

For more information about the Jacobs School of Music, see