‘With more excitement than ever’: Dance companies to perform ‘Nutcracker’ at NMSU

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One of New Mexico’s longest running production of “The Nutcracker Ballet” will find its way back to the New Mexico State University Music Building’s Atkinson Recital Hall, 1075 N. Horseshoe St., Friday and Saturday, Dec. 17-18, “with more excitement than ever,” said Michele’s Dance Academy Artist Director Kevin Self.

Michele’s Dance Academy will team up the Las Cruces Chamber Ballet and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance for the 38th annual community tradition, Self said.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 18.

General admission tickets are $21.

Special guest Crystal Serrano, as Sugar Plum Fairy, and Kouadio Davis, as her Cavalier, both from New York City’s Dance Theater of Harlem, “will provide a level of professional dance not seen in Las Cruces for many years,” Self said. In addition, a full complement of contemporary dancers from Dark Circles choreographer Joshua L. Peugh will create a new twist in the second act in the “Land of the Sweets,” Self said.

Self and Peugh are directing the production. Lighting is by Christopher Ham. Charlene Manning is the ballet mistress.

A fully restored first act will include Chloe Dutton as Clara and Courtney Kay as her ever-irritating brother. Self will reprise his role as the mysterious Drosselmeier after a lengthy hiatus. Applehelen Kirby will perform as the Rat Queen.

Many adult roles will be performed by dancers from earlier productions, including Sarah Archuleta, who was Clara in 2008 and Emilee Peugh, who was Clara in 2000, Self said. Beginning a new tradition, several new parents will perform alongside their dancing children, guaranteeing a truly family friendly night of entertainment, he said.

For ticket information, visit michelesdanceacademy.biz and click on the blue button.

Also visit LasCrucesChamberBallet.org and DarkCirclesContemporaryDance.com.

Contact Kevin Self at 575-527-1893.