GREENFIELD — On Sunday, Wilkerson Dance presents its annual Nutcracker and Holiday Spectacular. Performances are at 1 and 5 p.m. in the auditorium at Greenfield-Central High School, 810 N. Broadway. Tickets are available through the studio at 1114 W. North St. for $9 or for $10 at the door before the performances. Here are five things to know before you go.
a shortened version
Wilkerson’s adaptation of composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic “The Nutcracker” is just 30 minutes long, but still includes some of the more well-known sections of the ballet such as the Waltz of Snowflakes, the Waltz of the Flowers, the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Spanish Dance, the Chinese Dance, the Russian Dance and the battle between the Rat Queen and the Nutcracker Prince.
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Two for one
Wilkerson’s Nutcracker & Holiday Spectacular gives audiences members two performances for the price of one. The first act features selections from Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic “The Nutcracker.” The second act is a collection of holiday performance pieces from 48 different dance classes in tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop and contemporary taught at Wilkerson Dance throughout the year.
With “The Nutcracker” being performed for the 17th time and the Holiday Spectacular in its 41st year, some of the costumes were looking a little threadbare. Tasked with outfitting more than 270 students in 400-plus costumes, Wilkerson splurged this year and re-outfitted a lot of the classes with “breathtaking costumes,” she said.
A crowd favorite in the Holiday Spectacular always has been the Snowflake kick line from the advanced jazz class. The musical medley, which includes “Marshmallow World,” Let It Snow!” and “Happy Holidays,” features choreography modeled after the world-famous Radio City Rockettes dancers in New York City. In another routine, a group tap dances to “Little Drummer Boy” also while keeping rhythm with drumsticks they clack together and beat on the floor. The finale of the Spectacular combines several classes to perform a contemporary dance to “Ave Maria,” written by Austrian composer Franz Schubert in 1825.
The two-hour holiday festival of dance is a full production featuring students and teachers from the studio.
“It’s a little bit of the Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy, it’s costumes, sets and lights. It’s a very magical Christmas show,” Wilkerson said.
And not to be forgotten, the man in red, Santa makes a cameo appearance at the end of the show to greet the children and pass out candy canes.