Duck River Dance’s Nutcracker is set to grace the Manchester Arts Center stage this year with additional sets and the largest cast of any of the studio’s production.
Every other year, the studio presents the production, swapping out with a studio in Tullahoma. This year a record number of dancers auditioned from the both studios.
In addition to having more dancers, this production will have the most routines en pointe of any show the studio has produced. En Pointe, dancing in a special shoe with a flat toe that allows talented, trained dancers to turn and move on the tips of their toes.
Ten dances will have roles en pointe, ranging from the Chinese and Arabian to the extensive Waltz of the Flowers.
Also new this year will be backdrops for the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets.
Director Danelle Afflerbaugh says that the Nutcracker is a great holiday tradition.
“(O)ver 125 years, across the continents, young and old, large stages and small stages alike, this story unites people with the magic of Christmas,” she said.
Dancing the in the “Nutcracker” offers its own magic.
“For me to be able to perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy meant everything for me as a dancer,” Carrie Barton, DRD instructor said earlier this year. “The skill level, choreography, and acting that is involved pushes me to execute everything gracefully and technically.”
For those young dancers that one day aspires to dance the role, the ballet for them offers variations for almost every age (the youngest this year will be one year old) and skill level.
Because of the popularity of the 2017 show, the number of shows has been expanded to five. Dates are Dec. 5-8 at the Manchester Arts Center.
For more information, go to Duckriverdance.com
To land a lead role in a production is a great honor. Here are some of the dancers to watch for in the “Manchester Nutcracker.”
Nik Dunavant as the Nutcracker Prince, Hannah Nunley as the Rat King, Chloe Mansfield as the Snow Queen, Olivia Anderson as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Julie Wilcox as Mother Ginger and Carrie Barton as the Dew Drop Fairy.