First performed in 1892, “The Nutcracker” is a story that has outlasted time. It takes us back to baking cookies for Santa Claus and sleeping under the tree on Christmas Eve. From the ensemble of snowflakes to the beautiful Land of Sweets and the magical powers of Drosselmeyer, the audience is bound to feel the innocence of childhood all over again.
On Saturday, Dec. 7 and 14, and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 15, the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre (MBT) will perform “The Nutcracker” at Montgomery College’s Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center.
Ella Rommel, who will be playing a snowflake, the marzipan lead and the soldier doll in MBT’s “The Nutcracker,” described the ballet as “magical. … It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’re in the audience, it’s going to make you feel like you’re a child again.”
Rommel has danced in MBT’s “The Nutcracker” for the past 12 years. “(Dancing) is just another way of expressing,” she said. “(When you dance), people see you for how you’re dancing and how you love it.”
“The Nutcracker,” written by Alexandre Dumas, set to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Marius Petipa and and Lev Ivanov, is the tale of a girl swept away by magic. On Christmas Eve, Clara (the prima ballerina) and her family host a party with all of their friends and relatives. Unexpectedly, Clara and brother Fritz’s godfather, Drosselmeyer, appears. He comes bearing magic, making dolls come to life and dance. Drosselmeyer presents Clara with a gift with which she falls in love—a beautifully painted nutcracker.
After seeing Clara’s dazzling gift, Fritz becomes jealous and damages it, and Clara is heartbroken. Not long after, Drosselmeyer comes to the rescue, fixing the nutcracker. At night, Clara, worried for her nutcracker’s safety, decides to check on it. She finds it at the foot of the Christmas tree and falls asleep with it; when she wakes up, she’s in the middle of a savage battle between man and beast … well, mouse and soldier. Clara and the nutcracker work together and defeat the mouse king and his soldiers. Upon defeating the mice, an ancient spell is broken that turns the nutcracker into a prince.
Tickets to MBT’s “The Nutcracker” are being sold online at mbtdance.org and at the door the day of each performance.