Tupelo Ballet's 'Nutcracker' performance spans three decades

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

This is one in a continuing series of articles on Christmas traditions in Northeast Mississippi.

TUPELO – For almost as long as there has been a Tupelo Ballet, there has been a Tupelo Ballet production of “The Nutcracker.”
The Tupelo Ballet celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and it will present its 29th “Nutcracker” this weekend. The shows are at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $30/adults, $20/seniors and $15 students.
“It’s about a little girl who gets a nutcracker for Christmas, and she dreams the dreams of snow and sweets,” said Tupelo Ballet’s Sharon Long. “It’s a party, and then a dream.”
The story focuses on the little girl, Clara, who dreams the nutcracker comes to life in a magical world of sweets and dancing mice.
The story is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” The ballet was choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, with a score by Tchaikovsky. The ballet premiered in Russia in December 1892.
“The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” is one of the ballet’s most famous pieces.
Long said “The Nutcracker” is a Tupelo Christmas tradition and a good way to kick off the season.
Once her dancers get “The Nutcracker” in their systems, it’s hard to let go, she said.
“Most of them, once they leave Tupelo, may never do it again, but they’ll always come back and see it,” Long said. “And they’ll bring their children to it. That’s what’s so great about it.”
For more information, visit tupeloballet.com or call (662) 844-1928.
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com