A presentation of “The Nutcracker” is a longtime tradition here in the Sandhills. Terpsichore’s “Nutcracker” has grown from a small production with 25 dancers, beginning as the main character Clara, awakens to find she has been transported to a strange and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets with her favorite Nutcracker doll. She watches, as candies and sugar confections come to life to dance for her. And the strangest thing … her Nutcracker doll has come to life and escorts her through the Kingdom of dancing sweets.

Terpsichore’s 27th production is now a professional production with more than 60 local dancers, which now includes the entire first Act I, with a fun and exhilarating party scene, and the Battle of the Mice and Soldiers. Terpsichore has brought in professional dancers and actors from the Columbia Classical Ballet, the Pavlovich Balet School, Dance Alive National Ballet, Gainesville Florida, and New York City.

“Our costumes, sets, and backdrops are exquisite,” says director Kellye Parks. “We have been lucky to have seamstress Nicole Hawes, customize our tutus and male tunics, as well as put her creative juices together with mine to create bright and colorful costuming for all of our character roles. And our backdrops, created by a professional company in China, are the ‘eye candy’ that audiences will delight in.”

Terpsichore seniors Megan Green and Lydia McGrath were chosen to perform the coveted roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Dream Clara.

Green, a senior at Union Pines High School, will be partnered in the Grand Pas de Deux by guest dancer Leo Clarke, from the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, D.C, the Opera Nova Ballet of Bydgoszcz, Poland, and Dance Alive National Ballet in Gainesville Fla.

McGrath, a senior at Pinecrest High School, will portray Dream Clara, a role which depicts a young love blooming between Clara and her Nutcracker Prince, Devin Sweet. Sweet is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, and is currently an Instructor and performing member of the Triangle Youth Ballet Company.

Returning guest dancer Devrae Jefferson is cast as the Arabian Prince, coupled with Pinecrest juniors Morgan Jackson and Anna Jones, as well as partnering with Pinecrest sophomore Claire Evans in the Skater’s Waltz. Clarke will also partner STARS eighth-grader Alayna Israel in the Angel Pas de Deux at the beginning of Act II, and Sweet will pair up with Pinecrest junior, Devon Poulin in the Spanish Pas de Deux.

Performances are Friday, Dec. 20, and again Saturday, Dec. 21, both at 7 p.m. Both performances will be held at the newly renovated Owens Auditorium in the Bradshaw Performing Arts Center at Sandhills Community College.

Reserved tickets are $22 and are available online at www.tututix.com/DanceAtTerpsichore. Tickets will also be available for $25 at the door.

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