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Youth treated to ‘Nutcracker’ preview

SOUTH COUNTY — Little ones, and even big ones, recently received an opportunity to see ballet in a different light when “The Nutcracker Ballet” readers theater program visited local libraries in November.

This was the seventh time the Monterey County Dance Theatre has worked with Monterey County Free Libraries in King City and Greenfield. The visit brought some of the dancers into the libraries to perform their roles as the story was told.

“The Nutcracker Ballet” is a story ballet that is told verbally and danced out, making it ideal for young viewers who are not familiar with ballet.

About 40 youth were introduced to the ballet this year.

The original “Nutcracker” story was written in 1816 by E. T. A. Hoffman, titled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”

Monterey County Dance Theatre’s “The Nutcracker Ballet” was first performed in King City in 1959 and is one of the oldest productions of “Nutcracker” in the United States.

The 2018 readers theater cast includes Carlie Johnson as Clara, the heroine of the ballet; Steve Wilson as Herr Drosselmeyer, the magic toymaker; Kali Jimenez as Fritz, Clara’s brother; Vivien Cullen and Kacie King as Clara’s friends; Michelle Lomeli as Harlequin; Elizabeth Pantoja as The Rat King; and Olivia and Rachel Garcia as Rats. The narrator was Janette Harkness, artistic director of Monterey County Dance Theatre.

Monterey County Dance Theatre and Monterey County Dance Foundation will present the 59th annual “The Nutcracker Ballet” on Dec. 7, 8 and 9 at the Robert Stanton Theater in King City.

Tickets can be bought at the Monterey County Dance Theatre studio, 332 Bassett St., in King City, or call 831-261-2981. Tickets will also be available at the door for all performances.


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