Friday, June 23, 2017 This Week's Paper

Visions of Sugar Plums

// Tacoma City Ballet brings historic presentation of 'The Nutcracker' this holiday season.

Tacoma City Ballet (TCB) has been bringing a holiday classic to local residents for decades, and this year aims to be one of the best yet as the organization will be putting a different twist on this dance offering.

“The Nutcracker” has been a favorite of families during the holidays for generations, and the fact holds true here in Tacoma as well as TCB will be bringing the classic to the Pantages Theater this year in a one-of-a-kind rendition of the historic Russian performance. The updated version of the ballet has been put on in conjunction with Northwest Sinfonietta for the past seven years, and the Pantages has collaborated with TCB on this event for more than two decades.

Erin Ceragioli, artistic director of TCB, affirms that the choice to produce the historic interpretation was an intentional one.

“This is the historical version, and it differs from the other traditionally played version. Not only is it the best loved ballet classic of the season, but we’re also to see it from its original historical point,” she said.

Though the origins of the story of the original Nutcracker has controversial roots, the story has lived on through the years of war in Russia and has evolved to become one of the world’s most beloved holiday classics.

“Ballet companies traditionally put on ‘Nutcracker’ because it’s the most popular and well-attended ballet in the world, especially in the United States.

“Also, the ballet itself was researched so that the scenery was created exactly as it was in 1892, as well as the costumes and some of choreography that was salvageable. The play was written on the cusp of Russian Revolution on Dec. 17, and the revolution was hot on its heels. It was not an appreciated or loved ballet by Russians at its first appearance. Funny it became most popular ballet in the world!” Ceragioli laughed.

In addition to the beautiful performance that brings families out to enjoy the holiday event, TCB will be having a gift boutique taking place inside the Pantages lobby before the show so that last-minute Christmas shoppers can grab gifts in the same evening. The Stadium High School Women’s Christmas Choir also brings their talented group of musicians to the performance to help set the stage for the ballet.

“It’s for all ages, it really is a family tradition that has been established in the city,” Ceragioli affirmed. “Many, many families come to the ballet every Christmas as part of their holiday tradition. And the performances are early, so it’s great for children. They can come to the evening show at 5 p.m., have some dinner and you’re out by 7 p.m. It’s a good family outing.”

“The Nutcracker” plays Dec. 11-22 at the Pantages Theater, located at 901 Broadway in downtown. Tickets range in price from $24-$60 and are available for purchase by phone at (253) 591-5894 or online at Military, student, senior and group discounts are available. For more information, contact Leah Taff at (253) 272-4219 or visit