Utah Regional Ballet brings ‘The Nutcracker’ to the Covey Center for the Arts

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“The Nutcracker” tells a story of a young girl named Clara who goes through a magical adventure with her nutcracker who comes to life as a handsome prince. (Photo courtesy Utah Regional Ballet)

The family’s favorite Christmas show returns to the Covey Center for the Arts Dec. 14–21 under the direction of Jacqueline Colledge, choreographer and director of Utah Regional Ballet.

“The Nutcracker,” a two-hour ballet show, is an annual production of Utah Regional Ballet. Colledge, artistic director of “The Nutcracker,” said every year she upgrades the show by changing the costumes and adding new sections to the performance. This year Utah Regional Ballet decided to lower the age for young audiences to the show.

“Usually in the theater the age for youngest children is six, but we do allow to three because we have so many young children that want to see the show, and it’s such a family event,” Colledge said.

With a huge cast of characters, audiences can always find something they love about the show. Colledge said, based on her observations, Russian Candy Cane dancers have always been audiences’ favorite. People also love to see Madame Ginger with little Polichinelles running out from under her skirt.

“The Nutcracker” storyline originates from E.T.A Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” with the score written by Tchaikovsky. Colledge said she is in charge of choreography for the ballet show and tries to follow the original story as much as possible.

“Because the music is written for the ballet, it’s vey specific in the musical score of how the story should be told,” Colledge said. “So I kept the traditions over the years. The place that I did make it a little bit my own is in Act II. I could be a little bit creative in the Land of Sweets, coming up with my own sweets, you know.”

Kaitlyn Pottf, dancer of Utah Regional Ballet, said she is going to play four different roles in the show including Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Wheat Flower and English.

“A lot of dancers don’t like doing ‘The Nutcracker’ that much because it’s pretty much repetitive,” Pottf said. “We do it every year. But I think it’s fun because it brings a lot of people who don’t really like ballet performances, and it’s kind of becoming a holiday tradition. So it’s fun because we get big audiences coming to our show and it’s kind of getting us ready for the holiday season.”

Colledge hopes “The Nutcracker” can be a place for family gatherings during the Christmas season.

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Every year Utah Regional Ballet seeks for young dancers to put in “The Nutcracker.” (Photo courtesy Utah Regional Ballet)

“When you have the opportunity to see fine arts on stage, I think it’s not only an educational experience for children growing up in family, but it brings family together,” Colledge said. “And Christmas time is the time when we all think of our family. There’s such a magical feeling about the story that I think everyone should experience that.”

“The Nutcracker” will take place on Nov. 14, 16 and 19–21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Covey Center for the Arts. There will also be Saturday matinée shows on Dec. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets range $17–$27 and can be purchased at the Covey Center for the Arts, 425 W. Center Street, Provo, by calling (801) 852-7007, or by visiting https://secure.coveycenter.org/webtix/.