Dance Theatre Northwest’s “The Nutcracker” was designed to offer a warm and inviting community feeling and generous holiday spirit. The company wanted it to be both an excellent first-time dance experience and also one that is different and fresh each year with lots of dynamic dance.
The intention is for each audience member to somehow be transformed into being part of a glamorous Nutcracker party and Clara’s magical dream. Many guests feel like they are actually at the party and then somehow they are transformed into feeling like they are on the journey that visits the colorful dreams scenes.
This is “of particular interest to me as an artist,” says Melanie Kirk-Stauffer, artistic director of Dance Theatre Northwest, “especially as I contemplate new productions, staging, choreography, and upcoming seasons. It is with this in mind that I have decided to tell the story of the Nutcracker as if it were a beloved bedtime story, in a slightly abbreviated production geared especially toward family audiences with children. And, to produce it in a theatre where the performers closeness is inviting and enables the dancers to relate more personally with their audience.”
“Even so,” continues Kirk-Stauffer, “Mount Tahoma’s auditorium has wonderful production values. Our beautiful hand painted backdrops, costumes and choreography are always fresh and are updated each year. Adding the storyteller works well because DTNW’s version has been slightly abbreviated but still includes the vital elements like the Party Scene, Snow Scene, The Magnificent Angel and Land of Sweets and all of its exotic characters.
“What really brings the show to life is Dance Theatre Northwest’s energetic, enthusiastic team of multi-talented performers and artists who will take you on an enchanted journey to faraway places. You will meet up with characters like a wild Mouse King and a dazzling Sugar Plum Fairy, and travel to an entire Kingdom of Sweets filled with exotic performers – all to Tchaikovsky’s magical, timeless score.”
Many of DTNW’s talented performers and artists are residents of University Place and Fircrest. This season, Emma Young will garner her first experience as Clara and Madeline Ewer, one of last year’s Clara’s, will be one of the sugarplum fairies. Several other leading performers are also residents and have virtually grown up dancing here. What a treasure it is for our city to have its own resident dance company and so much talent.
Tickets are already on sale. And, like all of upcoming productions, DTNW look forward to sharing it with you.
See “The Nutcracker” at the Mount Tahoma High School Auditorium on Saturday, Dec.17 at 2:30 and 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. Tickets are available at online www.DTNW.org as well as the Dance Theatre Northwest studios at 2811 Bridgeport Way West, #24, Tacoma/University Place, WA 98466.
Mount Tahoma is located at 4634 S. 74th St. Parking is free and the theatre is handicapped accessible.
Admission is $22-$26 adults; $11-$13 seniors (over 60), children and students. Dream Passes are $45 (all shows) and $25 (all shows SR). Group rates are also available.
Want to order tickets on-line or get more information about Dance Theatre Northwest? Visit www.DTNW.org.