West Hawaii Dance Theatre puts on ‘The Nutcracker Ballet’ at Kahilu Theatre

  • WHDT students Rayna Morphis and Andrew Fung dance as Clara and the Prince in WHDT's production of "The Nutcracker" last year. (Steven Roby/Courtesy Photo)
  • West Hawaii Dance Theatre student Alexis Pargett dances as Columbine Doll in WHDT's production of "The Nutcracker" last year. (Steven Roby/Courtesy Photo)
  • Guest dancer Shaina Leibson dances as Dewdrop in “The Nutcracker” last year. (Steven Roby/Courtesy Photo)

  • West Hawaii Dance Theatre student Rayna Morphis dances as Clara with guest dancer Timour Bourtasenkov in WHDT’s 2018 production of “The Nutcracker.” This year’s production will be performed Dec. 21, Dec. 22, and Dec. 23. (Steven Roby/Courtesy Photo)

KAILUA-KONA — It’s a Christmas tradition as tried and true as reindeer, St. Nick and stockings stuffed with yuletide joy.

But with dolls, dancing and the Land of the Snow.

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West Hawaii Dance Theatre will light up the holidays with its “The Nutcracker Ballet” at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea.

The visually stunning, family-friendly production includes more than 70 dancers while a full orchestra, under the baton of maestro Brian Dollinger, while musicians of the West Hawaii Dance Theatre Orchestra will accompany the performers at 2 p.m. Dec. 22 and Dec. 23.

“The Nutcracker Ballet” combines the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky with the charming, old world fairy tale based on the original E.T.A. Hoffman story “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice.”

It tells the story of Clara, who is given a magical nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve by her eccentric Uncle Drosselmeyer. Adventure awaits as she and her transformed Nutcracker Prince battle the frightful Rat King before embarking on a journey through the Land of the Snow.

With the help of the delicate Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara and her Prince travel to the Land of the Sweets where they are entertained by an Arabian princess, spicy Spanish dancers, giggling Chinese dancers, delightful marzipan, and beautiful waltzing flowers.

Professional dancers include Shaina Liebson, and Alberta Ballet, Ballett im Revier in Germany; Damir Emric, Royal Danish Ballet; Jessica Woodman, San Jose Ballet; Miho Tsutsumi, Matsuyama Ballet Company; Ryuske Kishida, Yanomoko Ballet Company; and Timour Bourtasenkov, Carolina Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet.

Choreography is based on the original Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo version. It has been updated for this years production by West Hawaii Dance Theatre’s artistic director Virginia Holte, co-director Midori Satoh, instructors Jenna Ojeda, Ann Marie Pargett Alana Heuer-Salazar, and Megan Joy Chapman and guest choreographers Soili Arvola and Miho Tsutsumi.

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A silent auction and Nutcracker boutique will be held in the lobby. Proceeds will benefit WHDT’s ongoing programs, scholarship fund, and studio renovations.

Tickets cost $29-$49 and can be purchased online at www.kahilutheatre.org.

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