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Travel with Clara to a dreamy Land of Sweets!
Dec. 8-10 and 15-17
Special Sensory-Friendly Performance, Dec. 15 at 2pm
Schuster Center

Holiday magic abounds at the Schuster Center with the return of the Nutcracker Boutique, Rike’s Holiday Windows, and even a visit from Santa! 

DAYTON, OH (Nov. 30, 2023) – Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) presents Dayton Ballet’s beloved holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, accompanied by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 15-17, 2023, at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center. Clara and her mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer travel to a dreamy Land of Sweets full of mischievous rats, brave soldiers, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and a dashing Cavalier! Come early to the show to visit the Nutcracker Boutique, grab a hot chocolate, and see the Rike’s Holiday Windows! Choreographed and conceptualized by Karen Russo Burke, this version of The Nutcracker premiered in 2013 and will retire after the 2023 performances. Don’t miss the chance to see this Nutcracker one last time! Tickets are on sale now. For tickets, call 937.228.3630 or visit daytonperformingarts.org/nutcracker. 

Set to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score and performed live by the Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Ballet’s The Nutcracker consists of more than 125 local children from Dayton Ballet School (DBS) and other area ballet schools who make up the cast of colorful characters such as soldiers, rats, party children, and lambs. Children’s roles began rehearsals as early as October this year. Members of the Dayton Ballet Company have been working diligently in the studio, perfecting Russo Burke’s choreography to ensure this production ends on a high note.  

It has been wonderful working with our dancers in the studio,” said Dayton Ballet Artistic Director, Brandon Ragland. “Whether it’s their first professional Nutcracker or their fifteenth, our company dancers embrace the spirit of the show, knowing they play an integral role in generations of family Holiday traditions. I’ve enjoyed working with Karen as we fine-tuned her choreography for its final performances. Rest assured, I have already been creating and planning a refreshed version to premiere in 2024 and look forward to creating more precious holiday memories for our community.” 

The role of Clara is split between two young dancers, Aimee Besl and Rebecca Perry. Both dancers study at the Dayton Ballet School (DBS) and are members of the Dayton Ballet School Ensemble, a high-level training program for aspiring young dancers within the Dayton Ballet School. Dayton Ballet Company members alternate performing more prominent roles in the ballet, such as Isaac Jones (Uncle Drosselmeyer and Cavalier), Patrick Lennon (Uncle Drosselmeyer and Snow King), and Katy Gilliam (Snow Queen and Dew Drop Fairy).  

The role of the Nutcracker alternates between seasoned Company member Harrison Broadbent and  a new dancer to the company, Kyan Park. New company members Jalen Wiliams and Nicolas Bierwagen take turns as the Rat King. Claire Bergman reprises her role as Sugar Plum Fairy; Belle Urban makes her Dayton Ballet Nutcracker debut in that role.  

Sensory-Friendly Nutcracker performance 

Dayton Ballet performs a special sensory-friendly version of The Nutcracker on Friday, Dec. 15, at 2pm, with the Nutcracker boutique open one-hour prior to the performance. This production is great for all families with children, but especially for those with autism, sensory sensitivities, or other social, learning, or cognitive atypicality. The performance features recorded music rather than a live orchestra, and loud sounds or jarring effects have been omitted. Audience members are free to vocalize or move around the theatre during the show. Tickets for the Dec. 15 at 2pm performance are $6.50 and $8.50.  

For tickets and more information, including resources such as a sensory-friendly video guide, social narrative, and visual and written checklists visit daytonperformingarts.org/sensory-friendly-nutcracker.  

Nutcracker Boutique, Decorated Pointe Shoes, and Santa! 

Returning this year is the popular Dayton Ballet Nutcracker Boutique, full of nutcrackers, ornaments, stuffed animals, and more! Also on sale are intricately decorated pointe shoes, previously worn and autographed by Dayton Ballet Company ballet dancers.  

The Boutique and Pointe Shoes sales open one hour prior to all Nutcracker performances (including the Sensory-Friendly performance) and one hour prior to the Wednesday, Dec. 13 performance of Handel’s Messiah. 

Other festivities include pictures with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 9 and 16 for the 2:30pm and 7:30pm performances, holiday music, and Rike’s Holiday Windows. Arrive early, grab a hot chocolate at Starbucks, bask in the holiday magic, and create family memories that will last a lifetime! 

Dayton Ballet’s The Nutcracker is part of the 2023-24 AES Ohio Foundation Art that Moves season, and is generously sponsored by Associate Sponsor Enterprise Roofing, Inc. and Media Partner WHIO-TV. The Ballet Series continues throughout the 2023-2024 season with Septime Webre’s Swan Lake (Feb. 16-18, 2024, at the Schuster Center) and New Beginnings (April 12-14,2024 at the Victoria Theatre). Evening performances begin at 7:30 pm, with Saturday (Nutcracker only) and Sunday matinees starting at 2:30 pm. 

Tickets are on sale now by calling 937.228.3630, in person at the Dayton Live Box Office, or purchase online at daytonperformingarts.org/nutcracker-tickets. 

For more information about Dayton Ballet’s The Nutcracker visit, daytonperformingarts.org/nutcracker