What would the Christmas season be without the familiar story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King? Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre (ACDT) and its New Studio of Dance will present the classic family favorite on Friday, December 1, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 2, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Performances will be held at the Diana Wortham Theatre.
The performance will feature dancers from ACDT’s adult touring company, White Dog ProjectX International, and the students of New Studio of Dance. Edwin Salas, a dancer, actor and internationally known puppeteer from Mexico City, will be this year’s guest artist. “We are including large puppets again this year,” says Susan Collard, ACDT director. “Our community favorite is the large dragon in the Candy scene. Our audiences love this guy.”
This will be ACDT’s fourth performance of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, with its version based on German author E.T.A. Hoffmann’s original story written in 1816, rather than the more well-known ballet by Tchaikovsky. “Our Nutcracker is quite different from the traditional version,” Collard says, “and we think that our audiences love the changes. Our production has a strong story line and some wild battle scenes between the hero, the Nutcracker, and the bad guy, the Mouse King.”
The production includes humor as well. “The Mouse King has a large family and a Queen who loves sausages,” Collard says. “This scene has become one of the funniest scenes in the performances. Audiences can expect a few new characters in the Candy Lake scene and, as always, lots of color, action and fun for everyone.”
ACDT is a nonprofit professional dance company created in 1979. The group perform up to 80 times a year in Asheville, the southeastern US and abroad. Its repertory includes full-length ballet performances as well as shows for children, and the company produces several dance and performing arts festivals in Asheville, including the annual Asheville Fringe Arts Festival.
To learn more, visit dwtheatre.com and acdt.org. Tickets are $28 for general admission, $20 for children and $23 for students and seniors. For reservations or additional information, call 828.257.4530. The Diana Wortham Theatre is located at 18 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville. Its entrance is marked by the theatre’s marquee between Marble Slab Creamery and White Duck Taco.