Harford Ballet Company presents 'The Nutcracker'

The magic of the holiday season will be brought to life as Harford Ballet Company once again presents its performances of "The Nutcracker," this Saturday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Aberdeen High School.

Harford Ballet Company, northern Maryland's only pre-professional ballet company, is performing this classic production for the 12th year. The company's pre-professional division has grown to 18 members and along with breathtaking technique and artistry, the enchanting story of The Nutcracker is sure to charm young and old audiences alike.

A timeless tradition for the entire family, Harford Ballet Company's "The Nutcracker" will captivate audiences with the story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they battle the evil Rat King in a sword duel and travel to the enchanted Land of the Sweets.

The beautiful Tchaikovsky score is easily recognized by all audience members and when combined with exquisite costumes, splendid scenery and radiant choreography, the experience will be one that is not forgotten. This year's performances will feature special guests Rebecca Krohn and Craig Hall from the New York City Ballet.

"The dancing, the atmosphere – it all comes together to create an unforgettable outing to the theater and truly helps anyone get in the holiday spirit," executive director Barclay Gibbs said in a news release. "The Nutcracker is such a magical journey, and Harford Ballet Company is delighted in continuing to bring the production to Northern Maryland."

During the party scene in Act I, young guests are invited onstage to sit with Clara and experience Uncle Drosselmeyer's magic up close.

Children are also invited to bring a donation of a new and unopened children's gift onstage to place under Clara's tree for The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund. For more than 25 years, the Empty Stocking Fund has been helping to provide a brighter holiday season to underprivileged children throughout Harford County. The Harford Ballet Company is grateful to take part in such a wonderful cause.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at our website: http://www.harfordballetcompany.org or by calling 410-877-0777. Ticket prices range from $17-$23 with advance purchase and $25 at the door.

Following each performance, the Harford Ballet Company will host the Gala Nutcracker Tea Party. Tea Party tickets are $7, with advance purchases only.

Tea Party guests will have an opportunity to meet Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy and several other characters from the show in a magical atmosphere similar to the performance. Children will have the opportunity to have photographs taken with the ballet's characters and receive autographs from their favorite performers. Refreshments will include holiday cookies and treats as well as freshly brewed tea and coffee.

Harford Ballet Company's "The Nutcracker" is supported in part by both the Maryland State Arts Council and Harford County Cultural Arts Board.

About Harford Ballet Company

Harford Ballet Company is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization overseen by an advisory board of directors who work with the artistic director and the company manager to provide administrative support for the company. The company's annual season features two programs of classic favorites and new works, including the holiday tradition, "The Nutcracker."

Harford Ballet Company receives state arts funding through a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Harford County Cultural Arts Board and constantly seeks financial backing for the valuable art of ballet through memberships, grants, and personal and corporate donations.

Harford Ballet Company's sponsors include Bay Area Dentists, Bel Air Auto Service, Bel Air Recreation Committee, Black and Decker, Comcast, Dental Associates, Growing Smiles Dentistry, Klein's Shoprite, Susquehanna Bank, T. Rowe Price and Union Memorial Sports Medicine.

About Dance Conservatory of Maryland

Now under the new ownership of Barclay Gibbs, the Dance Conservatory of Maryland is classical and contemporary dance program in Harford County and the Northern Maryland region.

Headquartered at the 40-acre historic Millstad property on Whitaker Mill Road, three miles south of Bel Air, the 5,000-square-foot facility houses the conservatory as well as the headquarters for Harford Ballet Company.

According to the news release, a Dance Company of Maryland dancer can perform professionally, earn scholarships to major professional schools, colleges and universities, and enrich the artistic and cultural life of the community.

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