Locals can still see the Nutcracker live at the Colonial Theater


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IDAHO FALLS– A local ballet company is keeping up a Christmas tradition and performing its 14th Nutcracker ballet.

The Idaho Ballet Theatre had its opening night Friday and will have two more performances Saturday and Monday showcasing the German fable.

Assistant to the director Abbey Lasley said local ballet students have put hundreds of hours into the professional level production since September.

She said they use elaborate backdrops and have worked to have an impressive technical set up. The production also includes professional male ballerinas from Ballet Idaho who were hired for roles in the show.

“We start rehearsing very early with the students so that they all know what to do and how the choreography will run,” Lasley said.

She said her mother Brandy Jensen founder of the ballet theatre, trained with the choreographer of the first full-length Nutcracker production in America, Willam F. Christensen. Lasley said her mother works to uphold the dance tradition started by the dance pioneer himself.

“I think it’s a tradition all around the country and the world honestly. The Nutcracker came over from Russia and first started in San Francisco Ballet and has since spread throughout the country,” Lasley said.

Dancers during the Nutcracker rehearsal in Idaho Falls | Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com

This local production is not only high-grade, but unique in that it includes all 100 dance students from the Idaho Ballet Theatre school. The full cast includes kids as young as age three to 19.

“We have a school of almost a hundred little dancers under the age of high school graduates. We incorporate them all into every production that we do,” Lasley said.

Nate Nelson plays the Nutcracker who transforms into the Prince in the show. Nelson who is honored to perform both roles said Jensen puts together an unforgettable piece.

“Brandy just puts a magical touch to it and she’s really good at working with kids. It brings the magic to Nutcracker and the Christmas season when she wants to work with everybody,” Nelson said.

Sixteen-year-old dancer Kylie Corrigan said this is her 11th time being involved in the production in her 13 years of training. This year she’s dancing as the Sugarplum Fairy. Corrigan said the show is a bit different each year and something the community will enjoy.

“It’s not the exact same every year we switch up the choreography a little bit,” Corrigan said. “There’s something for everyone. The boys will enjoy the battle scene.”

Nelson said the main character in the Nutcracker story, Clara, will be performing at new heights.

“She’s got the Clara flying and it’s just so cool to watch. We’ve never done that before and it’s well worth your money to come and see that happen,” Nelson said.

Audiences can experience the Nutcracker two more times at The Colonial Theater at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 9, and Monday, Dec. 11.

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