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Arden Payne, Maria Benjamin, Phaedra Payne, Maggie Taylor, Alecsis Butler and Kaylee Feather

Get your tickets now for the Augusta Youth Ballet Company’s magical rendition of ‘The Nutcracker’ on Dec. 15-17

BUCKHANNON — In the heart of West Virginia, as the festive season twinkles with lights and laughter, the Augusta Youth Ballet Company, under the creative direction of Nina M. Scattaregia, invites the community to a magical rendition of the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.” This enchanting performance will take place at The Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts, nestled on the picturesque campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, on Dec. 15-17.

Founded in 1998 by Scattaregia, the Augusta Youth Ballet Company has continued to delight audiences with the timeless story of “The Nutcracker” each holiday season, along with other full-length ballets and repertories by Scattaregia and guest choreographers. The company, based at The Dance Factory in north-central West Virginia, allows members to perform and train in a professional setting in their communities. Its members hail from Upshur, Randolph and Barbour counties — and beyond.

This year’s production of ‘The Nutcracker’ is scheduled for Friday, December 15 at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 16 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, December 17 at 1 p.m. The stage will come alive with 25 Augusta Youth Ballet Company members, 30 ballet students as angels and soldiers, and 12 community members and dancers portraying party guests and mice in Act 1. These dedicated performers will transform the stage into a winter wonderland, whisking the audience away to the magical world of Clara, her Nutcracker Prince, and their daring adventures.

Tickets are available through The Dance Factory’s website at www.thedancefactorywv.com. You may also purchase tickets at The Dance Factory and Argo Books in Buckhannon. Admission for adults is $15, while seniors and students are $10.

The Senior Company apprentices performing in the upcoming production of The Nutcracker: Sarah Caynor, Jessa Hebb-Burner, Macey Campbell, Ella Hebb-Burner and Kinsley Ripley.

“The Nutcracker,” a ballet steeped in holiday tradition and enchanting storytelling, has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. Its origins trace to 1892, when it premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The ballet was the result of a collaboration between the renowned composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa, with Lev Ivanov.

Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” the ballet initially received a lukewarm reception. However, Tchaikovsky’s score, with its famous pieces like the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and the “Waltz of the Flowers,” endured and gained immense popularity. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century, particularly with George Balanchine’s staging in 1954 in New York City, that “The Nutcracker” began its journey to becoming a cherished holiday tradition.

The ballet, with its story of a young girl’s magical Christmas Eve journey, resonates across generations, making it a staple in theatres worldwide during the festive season.

For further inquiries, please reach out via email at thedancefactorywv@gmail.com with the subject line ‘Nutcracker Question,’ or by phone at 304-472-8291. Updates and additional details about the performance will also be shared on their Facebook event page.

The Augusta Youth Ballet Company is a 501c3 semiprofessional ballet company. This holiday season, come witness the magic of “The Nutcracker” in Buckhannon from Dec. 15-17.

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