Lone Star Ballet will transport audiences with magical ‘Nutcracker’

Lone Star Ballet Artistic Director Vicki McLean considers the stage her canvas and said she writes a story using moving pictures.

 

And every year, her visions come to life in the form of one of America’s favorite Christmas toys.

About 150 members of LSB will present the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” from Friday through Dec. 10 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Auditorium at 401 S. Buchanan St.

“Ballet is a silent art,” McLean said. “I love the side of life where dreams do come true.”

Writer, director and marketing consultant King Hill — who collaborates with McLean and is a former dance partner — said she has a gift for the artistry of story-telling and compared McLean’s interpretation of “The Nutcracker” to a traveling novel on stage.

“Vicki has built her whole career on being a story teller,” Hill said.

McLean and Hill agree that two words describe this holiday production: “It’s magical.”

Every year about this time, the theater is transformed by the magic of the dreams of a young girl at Christmas set to the music of Tchaikovsky. Audiences are annually transported through an adventure with the Toymaker, an army of Toy Soldiers and Mice, the beautiful Snow Queen and King, and the wonderful Nutcracker Prince to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

In the Land of the Sweets, candies and treats are transformed by the Sugar Plum Fairy into amazing performers celebrating young Clara. Her favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive to battle the evil Mouse King then he takes Clara on a spectacular journey.

In the end, audiences are left to wonder: Was it a dream after all?

McLean said many who attend are overwhelmed by the beauty of the performance. She said she has attended similar productions across the United States and in Europe, but McLean is partial to the local production, including the spectacular costumes, sets and the “fearless” dancers.

Hill said the Lone Star Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” is “one of the most renowned and professional between coasts.”

McLean said she focuses on how to make this production an experience not only for audiences but for the dancers, too.

Local talent from seven Lone Star Ballet academies across the Texas Panhandle comprise the cast with the exception of two guest dancers, Carlos and Jennifer Guerra, who play the parts of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier, according to McLean.

“This company is very strong,” McLean said.

The Amarillo Symphony and conductor also have a “wonderful part in bringing the production to life,” Hill said.

He described the ballet as visceral and tactile.

“The music itself is stunning,” McLean said. “Tchaikovsky knows how to keep a dancer on his toes.”

How to go

What: Lone Star Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker”

Where: Amarillo Civic Center Complex Auditorium, 401 S. Buchanan St.

When: 8 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 10

How much: $17-$32

Information: 806-372-2463 or lonestarballet.org

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