Ballet company presents holiday classic ‘Nutcracker’

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Northwest Ballet Co. Principal dancer Allison Miller plays the Sugar Plum Fair and student Ashton Folkman plays the Sugar Plum Cavalier in the “Nutcracker.” (Photo courtesy Trevon Baker Photography)

Behind the scenes of the Northwest Ballet Company’s annual “Nutcracker” performance is 44 dancers and community members, along with 65 hand-made costumes, dancers spending three to seven hours in classes and rehearsals per week, supported by numerous family, friends, workers and volunteers.

What does the Flathead Valley’s audiences get to see? They will see one weekend of five brilliant productions of a holiday classic, the “Nutcracker.” For their 31st time the Northwest Ballet Company is excited to continue the widely popular tradition of performing this timeless tale of young Clara and her beloved Christmas doll, the Nutcracker.

Under the direction of the talented story teller and choreographer, Director Marisa Roth, along with the elite Company Members of the Northwest Ballet School, all are awaiting the Thanksgiving weekend when it all comes to fruition at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts.

For her final hurrah with the Company, Principal dancer and Whitefish High School senior Allison Miller is excited to enjoy her final five shows, saying it’s surreal to think this is her las year on stage of the “Nutcracker.”

“I have been dancing with the Northwest Ballet for 14 years now, and have danced in the Nutcracker for 10 of those years,” she said. “From being a little mouse to dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, every moment spent in this production can only be described as magical. I want to thank Marisa, my family, and my fellow dancers for all the support they have given me on this journey; they have challenged and grown me in countless ways.”

Home school senior and Company Principal Christen Smith has been taking ballet classes and performing for 14 and a half years.

“During those years I have learned precision and technique, the rewards of hard work, and an appreciation for all dance forms,” she said. “Dance has also given me confidence, new skills, and friends. My dance family will always remain in my heart as a crucial part of who I am today.”

Tickets for reserved seating for this Thanksgiving weekend’s event are available now through Thursday, Nov. 28 at the Kalispell Grand Hotel, 100 Main Street, Kalispell, (406)755-8100. On show days, tickets will be available at the Bigfork Center’s box office one hour before the performances start. Ticket prices are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors 65 and over, and $15 for children 12 and under.

Shows are Friday, Nov. 29, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts. The ever-popular Sugar Plum Fairy Parade will follow the 2 p.m. matinees on Friday and Saturday.

For more information please call the Northwest Ballet at (406)755-0760, e-mail them at info@northwestballet.com, or visit www.northwestballet.com.

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