Christmas is a time for happy holiday memories – and the joys of making new ones. After a two-year absence due to the COVID pandemic, “A Very Chico Nutcracker”, a Christmas music and dance production, is back. The Chico community engages with Chico performances to bring this unique take on traditional ballet to “warm the hearts” of the audience.
The “A Very Chico Nutcracker” ballet can be seen at the Laxon Auditorium with an opening on Friday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. The following performances will take place on Saturday, December 4 at 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm and on Sunday, December 5 at 1:00 pm
The original “Nutcracker” ballet music was written by the talented Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It debuted at the Mariinsky Theater in Russia in December, 1892.
Six years ago, in a desire to give this legendary classic a facelift, Chico Community Ballet artistic director and choreographer Deborah Joritsma developed a new local version of this favorite tale.
“We welcome everyone back to ballet and our celebration of resilience,” she said. “These last two years brought us a lot of challenges, one being how to keep our dancers in training. Passion, determination and resilience drive our dancers, defectors and our supportive families to find new ways to connect and grow and continue training. We welcome everyone back to the theater and to this wonderful tradition of ‘A Very Chico Nutcracker’.
It is produced by Friends of the Chico Community Ballet and Chico Performance by hundreds of local friends, supporters, and the local dance school’s board of directors who support the vision.
“The inspiration for this inspiring performance has become part of Chico’s history. The entertainment, hard work, and innovation enjoyed by the best of our local designers, choreographers and artists made this ballet a classic to remember. Have given. “
Joritsma invites everyone to escape to childhood dreamland and return to the theater and celebrate the live performances.
The story is the same as this original version of the historical “Nutcracker,” which is set in Chico’s in the 1880s. The familiar story tells of a Victorian Chico family, Dr. Oscar Stansbury, and his wife, Libby, (Mike Ramsey and Kelly Davis), who are hosting a Christmas party. His younger daughter, Angeline (Isabella Naiman), and her younger brother, Middleton (Fritz-Rowan Shoemaker), are shocked by a visit from the mysterious Drosselmeyer (Derek Ralston), who presents Angeline with a Nutcracker doll.
Late that night, Angeline points to her new doll. She falls asleep and dreams of fantasies battling rats, and now toy soldiers led by the full-blown Nutcracker.
Her Nutcracker doll (Nicholas Sipps) grows into a handsome prince who takes her on a magical ride to the Land of the Wildflowers. Each dance sequence has a lead ballerina. Annie Gonzales as the Almond Blossom Queen. Cala Cox is the wildflower queen with Catalina Canfield as the Poppy Queen.
The Nutcracker Prince Snipes is a famous dancer from Baltimore, Maryland. This is his first performance in Chico. Artists range from adults from Chico Community Ballet to over 55 performers aged 8, guest artists, Inspire School and members of the community.
There are many backstage performers supporting outstanding ballet performers. In addition to director Joritsma, others include Catherine Sullivan, Jarrah Miles, Sherry Henning, Anthony Ramirez and Adelaide Sands. Original visuals and artistry are by Robert Pickering, and the costume design is by Julie Gonzales and Andy Mathers. An original poster design and slideshow creation is by Chris Fricken, with program design by Kate Houchin.
Tickets range from $30 to $17 and can be purchased in person at the University Box Office located at the corner of Third and Chestnut Streets, Chico. Tickets can be ordered Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. by phone (530) 898-6333 or online at Chichperformances.com.