For 20 years, the Merced Academy of Dance has provided people in Atwater and surrounding communities with an opportunity to watch ballet in their own backyard – something the troupe prides itself on, according to its assistant director.
The academy’s rendition of “The Nutcracker” is set for a show 7 p.m. Friday, with more at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at Buhach Colony High, 1800 N. Buhach Road, Atwater.
“We do a full-length ballet,” assistant director Jennifer Hobbs said. “I think it’s really special for the community.”
About 150 dancers from 3-year-olds to adults are set to pirouette, jump and tip-toe in the school’s theater. The show includes all of the academy’s classes, which vary in experience, she said.
We do a full-length ballet. I think it’s really special for the community.
Jennifer Hobbs, assistant director of Merced Academy of Dance
Earlier in the week, students got a taste of the abbreviated performance. “A lot of them, it’s their only experience of live theater,” Hobbs said.
The show is directed by Jane Vann-Bryan, an Atwater native and director of the academy.
“The Nutcracker” is a ballet scored with well-known Christmas music by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It tells the story of a girl who may or may not be dreaming when a nutcracker transforms into a man.
Before taking the girl to the “Land of Sweets,” the Nutcracker/Man must battle the Mouse King, who has led an onslaught against gingerbread soldiers.
Tickets are $15 for children and seniors, and $18 for adults. For more, got to www.mercedacademyofdance.com.