Colorado Youth Ballet presents 'The Nutcracker'

By Jen Mulson Updated: December 19, 2013 at 10:05 am • Published: December 19, 2013 | 9:45 am 0

With Colorado Youth Ballet, Ballet Society of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Youth Symphony and Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, 4 and 7 p.m. Monday, Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $18-$33; 520-7469, pikespeakcenter.com.

More than 200 local kids will star in a production of "The Nutcracker."

The Colorado Youth Ballet, with dancers from the Ballet Society of Colorado Springs, have performed the classic Tchaikovsky ballet for three years at the Pikes Peak Center. For the first time, they will be accompanied by the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony and Colorado Springs Children's Chorale. The 75-minute production will also feature narration for the first time, provided by Joe Cole, a Fox 21 news anchor.

"It will be even more wonderful with live music," says Patricia Hoffman, founder and artistic director of the Ballet Society of Colorado Springs.

The ballet is also the longest piece of music the youth symphony has played, Hoffman says.

"Most students never get to play with a ballet. It's a unique opportunity, and they get to put it on their resume."

The production is also known for making the dreams of tiny, aspiring dancers come true. For the past three years, the Dancer for a Day program has selected one local child who is battling a life-threatening illness to participate in the ballet's party scene. This year's dancer is 6-year-old Amira McKeown, who'll receive a puppy from the character of Drosselmeyer as part of a magic trick.

"She has sparkly little eyes and a little smile," Hoffman says. "She doesn't talk a lot, but she is so expressive in her gratitude and excitement to be here."

Jennifer Mulson, jen.mulson@gazette.com, 636-0270.

OTHER EVENTS

Chuck Pyle - Acoustic and Western CD release party, 6-8 p.m. Friday, Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake, $12-$18; 481-0475, trilakes arts.org.

"An Urban Nutcracker" - 6 p.m. Saturday, Wasson High School, 2115 Afton Way, $10; 635-1004, springsdance.com.

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