‘The Nutcracker’ to be presented at WCU on Dec. 6

Emma Cory of the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville dances the role of Clara, the adventurous dreamer in ‘The Nutcracker.’ Local residents will have an opportunity to experience a live performance of the holiday classic at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on the Western Carolina University campus.

For the first time in a number of years, Western Carolina University will host a performance of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.”

The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus. Tickets are on sale now and cost $10.

Sponsored by WCU’s Arts and Cultural Events Performance Series, Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet is the interpretation of a young girl’s dreamy Christmas Eve, including an epic battle between mice and an army of miniature soldiers, the transformation of a beloved nutcracker into a handsome prince and a journey to the land ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy.

More than 70 dancers from the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville will travel to Cullowhee to perform the show, said Chris Lynn, who owns the conservatory with his wife, Angie Lynn, and serves as its managing director. The Cullowhee show also will mark the debut of “phenomenal” new large-scale backdrops, including a Victorian parlor for the ballet’s opening party scene, Lynn said.

Dynamic and colorful, “The Nutcracker” features a lot of action and a variety of dances, including Arabian, Russian and Chinese pieces. The performance appeals to adults and children, Lynn said. “There are so many exciting elements that I think younger children will really love it,” he said.

The Cullowhee performance marks the first time the dance company has traveled with the show. The company regularly sells out its Asheville “Nutcracker” performances and members are eager to perform on the large Bardo Arts Center stage, Lynn said. “It was a great opportunity for us,” said Lynn, who has the role of the toymaker Drosselmeyer in the production.

For more information about the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville, visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com. For tickets to “The Nutcracker” on the WCU campus, visit bardoartscenter.wcu.edu or call the box office at 828-227-2479.