Noble Dance brings Land of the Sweets to Winter Celebration

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  • Noble Dance Performing Company: Front row left to right, Lauryl Himsl, Allie Jellison, Olivia Rice, Sara Gunlikson, Brie Treat, Lauren Foster and Annie Howeth. Back row left to right, Elise Sabin, Emma Shaffer, Kaylee King, Mia Gannon, Abby Garza, Lily Boyes and Eden Rodriguez. (Wayne Murphy of JMK Photography)

  • 1

    Sugar Cookie Claire Laverty of the Storybook Ballet School and Gingersnap Kaitlyn Murphy of the Noble School of Ballet. (Wayne Murphy of JMK Photography)

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    Annie Howeth as the Dew Drop Fairy of the Noble Dance Performing Company. (Wayne Murphy of JMK Photography)

  • Noble Dance Performing Company: Front row left to right, Lauryl Himsl, Allie Jellison, Olivia Rice, Sara Gunlikson, Brie Treat, Lauren Foster and Annie Howeth. Back row left to right, Elise Sabin, Emma Shaffer, Kaylee King, Mia Gannon, Abby Garza, Lily Boyes and Eden Rodriguez. (Wayne Murphy of JMK Photography)

  • 1

    Sugar Cookie Claire Laverty of the Storybook Ballet School and Gingersnap Kaitlyn Murphy of the Noble School of Ballet. (Wayne Murphy of JMK Photography)

  • 2

    Annie Howeth as the Dew Drop Fairy of the Noble Dance Performing Company. (Wayne Murphy of JMK Photography)

The Noble Dance Performing Company presents a fantastic holiday event for their seventh annual Winter Celebration, featuring a beautiful Land of the Sweets, Act 2 of “The Nutcracker.” Under the direction of Natalie Molter, the seventh annual Winter Celebration will be presented Dec. 16-17 at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.

The production begins with a soft, almost dreamy ballet. Winter Songs is set to classic holiday hymns such as “Silent Night” and “Greensleeves,” among others. With an air of solemnity and introspection, the dancers fill out and lengthen every last note of the transportive music. The company’s artistry shines in this group piece with very few solos or duets, apart from “In the Bleak Midwinter,” which highlights company member Annie Howeth, a senior at Whitefish High School.

After intermission, the tone changes to one of celebration as the fast paced and fun Act 2 of “The Nutcracker” begins. The Sugar Plum Fairy reigns over the Land of the Sweets, where treat inspired solos, duets, and trios occur one right after another. Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Ribbon Candy, Marzipan, Mother Ginger and her two sets of cookies, Sugar Cookies and Gingersnaps all take the stage. The tradition isn’t complete without the Waltz of the Flowers and the company doesn’t disappoint. Once again, Howeth is in the lead as the Dew Drop Fairy. Additional seniors are Lauryl Himsl, the loving Mother Ginger with her brood of cookies, and Lauren Foster, the mysterious Arabian Coffee, both of Flathead High School.

Although the workload is largely on the shoulders of the company dancers, every student in the Noble School of Ballet and Storybook Ballet School is also performing in the event. The students of the schools get to shine in colorful roles like the Royal Frosting and the Mother Ginger’s cookies.

The production showcases almost a complete set of brand new costumes and handmade tutus by some of the talented parents at Noble Dance. The project is finessed with vibrant lighting by Rachel Burke of Alpine Theatre Project and all new choreography by Molter and school instructors Ursula Wilde, Betsy Cummings, and Amy Noel.

Showtimes are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17. Tickets are $18 adults, $8 students, and lap sitters free.

All tickets are reserved seating and are for sale exclusively at nobledance.org.

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