WANT TO GO?
"The Nutcracker," presented by The Charleston Ballet with the West Virginia Symphony
WHERE: Clay Center
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday
TICKETS: Adults $24 and up, children $12
INFO: Call 304-561-3570 or visit www.theclaycenter.org
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For some dancers, "The Nutcracker" is their first or one of their first introductions to the world of ballet. Arguably the most well-known ballet, "The Nutcracker" is an international holiday tradition, performed annually by thousands of dance companies, including the Charleston Ballet, which opens its show with the West Virginia Symphony Friday night at the Clay Center.
"The Nutcracker" is a Christmas classic about a young girl, magical dolls and an epic battle against the mouse king. Productions tend to be lavish with elaborate costumes, brightly colored sets and a small army of dancers, many of whom have spent months preparing for a handful shows during the Christmas season. But like they say, Christmas is but once a year.
On Monday, the gazz stopped by rehearsals of the show to talk to some of the dancers, including guest performers from the Columbia (S.C.) Classical Ballet.
Sasha Vhyrkrest with the Columbia Classical Ballet was born in the Ukraine and attended dance school in Kiev. A dancer for 20 years, the 30-year-old said what was interesting to him was when he first got started, he wasn't allowed to perform a lot.
"We were only children," he said. "I performed as one of the party boys, not much work, but it was interesting to see how the stage worked, and I learned a lot."