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City Pulse: Lure that brings us back to 'The Nutcracker' by Victoria Ballet Theatre

By bianca r. montes
Dec. 11, 2013 at 6:11 a.m.

The Victoria Ballet Theatre will perform "The Nutcracker" 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Leo J. Welder Center.

Shianne Leal said watching a scene from "The Nutcracker" introduced her to ballet. She eventually ended up performing as an angel in the Victoria Ballet Theatre's holiday production.

She was 8 years old.

Shianne did not stick with ballet, and since then, the now 17-year-old hasn't made a return.

For many of us adults, when we think of "The Nutcracker," we envision our youth and, of course, the sugar plum fairies dancing in a wintry wonderland.

And while our memories are pure and filled with excitement, returning to watch young Clara wake up to see that her toys have come to life isn't on our social calendar.

"You just stop coming back," said Artistic Director Brenda Tally said.

From the jumping score by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to the combination of drama and beauty in the coming-of-age tale, it's a wonder why us adults aren't rushing to the box office and buying a ticket for a performance this weekend.

The ballet company, along with two principal dancers from the Houston Ballet, will perform five shows Thursday through Sunday.

"It's a great production from costumes to sets to lights," Tally said, pointing out the fact that there will be many different special effects on the Leo J. Welder set, and snow will fill the stage. "When the lights go up, and the cast is in a snow scene, it's magical because the audience never saw the change coming."

Shianne said it's that type of fascination that is drawing her back to the production.

"All I want for Christmas is Nutcracker tickets," she said.

I am not sure when we as adults lose interest in theater and forget about all the magic that's hidden behind the curtain, but I am with Shianne: All I want for Christmas is a pair of tickets to see "The Nutcracker," too.



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