Dreamy Nutcracker is heartwarming treat

Published by on December 3rd, 2008

There are few holiday traditions in Seattle that are consistently as good year after year as Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker, which is now in its 25th year. And for those that think they will see the same old Nutcracker are in for a surprise. Many exciting details have been added to the classic tale.

Depending on which show you attend the role of the strapping prince changes based on this schedule. On Friday’s opening night I had the pleasure of seeing the handsome and graceful Batkhurel Bold. Oddly, Clara’s Christmas Eve dream seems to be surprisingly similar to my own childhood fantasies.

Slightly darker and more exotic than traditional productions, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker explores the world through the eyes of a child on the cusp of adulthood and blurs the line between fantasy and reality, sweeping audiences along with Clara into her enchanting dream world full of memorable characters and peculiar happenings. This production boasts more than 115 different props, including a 27-foot Mouse King puppet made of 17 moving pieces, a 950-pound Christmas tree that grows from 14 to 28 feet in height, a stage full of frothy waves with leaping dolphins and a dusting of more than 200 pounds of “snow.”

Taking the stage are Pacific Northwest Ballet’s entire company of professional dancers, 26 Professional Division students and over 200 students from Pacific Northwest Ballet School. And working behind the scenes at each performance are 25 parent volunteers assisting younger performers with hair and make-up. This show has over 190 costumes, comprised of approximately 700 different pieces, and dancers wear out about 500 pairs of pointe shoes during the show’s run. This production of Nutcracker by PNB has the distinction and being recognized as one the best in the country.

Tickets to Nutcracker range from $24 to $130. Performances are filling up fast so visit www.pnb.org for more details and to purchase tickets.

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