As the story goes, the origin of The Nutcracker dates to 1816 Berlin, Germany, when it was first introduced to the public as one of several fairytales penned by E.T.A. Hoffman. Almost a half-century later at the turn of the 19th century, the first Nutcracker Suite ballet was choreographed to the iconic music of Peter Tchaikovsky. When it debuted in St. Petersburg, Russia, the entire performance featured young student dancers from the country’s Imperial Theaters school.
Fast-forward to Concord, New Hampshire, 2018, where, in the spirit of the holiday season, the St. Paul’s School Ballet Company (SPSBC) is set to present The Nutcracker: Act II, an abridged version of the original production, on Friday and Saturday, December 7 and 8, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 9, at 2 p.m. in Memorial Hall. The one-hour performance includes Tchaikovsky’s music, and favorite well-known dances such as “Snow,” “Arabian,” “Waltz of the Flowers,” and “Marzipan,” among others. In keeping with its earliest history, the St. Paul’s School production features student performers. All members of the SPSBC will perform, including Adriana Termeer ’19, who will perform the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy on Friday and Saturday, and Zoe Dienes ’20, who will dance the role on Sunday. Hadley Bassett ’19 will dance the Snow Queen, and Andrew Fleischner ’22 will dance in Marzipan.
"Join us and watch the St. Paul's School Ballet Company this holiday season. It's a magical experience for all to enjoy,” says SPS Director of Dance Kate Lydon. “And we hope our Nutcracker will leave you dancing in the aisles."
This abridged version of The Nutcracker is free of charge and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each show will last approximately one hour, and all ages are welcome. Although not required for admission, the SPSBC invites guests to bring toy donations for holiday distribution to local children through Concord charitable organizations. Donated toys should not exceed $25 in value and should be new and unwrapped.