Ballet Des Moines to perform “The Nutcracker”

While many children fall asleep on Christmas Eve with “visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads,” this year they’ll be falling asleep dreaming of something else.  After seeing Ballet Des Moines’ performance of The Nutcracker at Hoyt Sherman Place, adults and children alike will be dreaming of Des Moines finest ballet dancers.

Ballet Des Moines, a local, professional dance company, will showcase The Nutcracker at Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre from December 10th through the 12th. The Nutcracker is a family-friendly two-act ballet filled with classical dance and splendid score by Tchaikovsky.

The story opens at a Christmas party on Christmas Eve as youngsters Clara and Fritz receive Christmas gifts from their grandfather, Drosselmeyer. Soon after opening their gifts Clara swiftly drifts off to sleep and begins to dream about a world where her toys become larger than life. Clara dreams of her beloved Nutcracker Price battling against the infamous Mouse King. The performance leads the audience through the Land of Snow, the Land of Sweets and climaxes with the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier’s Pas de Deux.

The performances will feature new choreography by Serkan Usta, the Artistic Director, new sets, new costumes and will be performed by 300 local dancers and four professional guest dancers from the famed Cincinnati Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet companies.

“Our Nutcracker ballet and educational shows for school-aged children are based on the same era when Major Hoyt Sherman was a significant influence on the region,” said Katherine Harrington, president of the Ballet Des Moines’ board. “You can almost feel his presence when you are at the theater! We are enjoying our ninth annual Nutcracker at this exquisite venue.”

Ballet Des Moines held auditions  in August and has been working dilligently ever since to put together a professional performance with Des Moines best local talent.

“Our goal is to soon have a full-time professional ballet company that calls Des Moines home that adds to the area’s cultural offerings and quality of life making it more attractive for companies, employees and arts enthusiasts,” said Harrington. “We are excited about offering a dance company for talented dancers where they can hone their skills locally instead of feeling like they need to move to larger cities for the same opportunities.”

As you can imagine, putting together a ballet performance of this magnitutde isn’t an easy task and takes a lot of hard work and countless hours.

“We will have a total of about 125 hours in rehearsal time, 250 volunteers to make it possible, and $100,000 to fund the show, which pays for the theater, guest professionals, lighting, advertising, stage hands and more,” said Harrington.

The Nutcracker will be performed on Friday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, December 11 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster using this link: You might also want to follow them on Twitter, @BalletDM, because I’ve seen they’ve been doing some free ticket giveaways!

More about Ballet Des Moines: Ballet Des Moines was founded in 2002 and is focused on “re-establishing a professional ballet company in central Iowa and inspiring young dancers to pursue their dreams of dance.”

Ballet Des Moines’ Next Show: Ballet Des Moines’ next performance is Alice in Wonderland at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines on Feb 19th, 2011. There will be a 60-piece live orchestra from the Des Moines Community Orchestra, “Alice’s Tea Party” for children and the “Mad Hatters Gala” for adults. Purchase your tickets today:

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  1. Josh Fleming

    Thanks for covering this great event. My daughters have participated in the Nutcracker for the last three years and we really appreciate all that Ballet Des Moines is trying to achieve. Hope to see you at one of the shows. : )

    1. Emily Beckmann

      It’s my pleasure! Ballet Des Moines is doing some great things for the local community and for the arts. I’ll be at the 1:00 p.m. show on Sunday – hope to see you there! Good luck to your little ones. How exciting for them!

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