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The Nutcracker

Luke Isley

  'Tis the season to be jolly, and if you’re a ballet dancer, ‘tis the season to be busy. The Nutcracker Ballet, with the immortal music of Tchaikovsky and a grand tradition of annual performances all over the globe, is in high season here in Maryland. This month, nearly 20 ballet companies from all over the state will offer partial and complete performances of the Christmas classic, which means that hundreds of angels and mice and toy soldiers, along with dozens of sugar plum fairies and assorted handsome princes are getting ready to tell us the tale of Clara Stahlbaum’s magical night on that Christmas Eve, long ago.  

This morning, a conversation with two people who are involved in a couple of those many performances. By day, Curt Decker is the Executive Director of the National Disability Rights Network, but if you’ve been to any of the Baltimore School for the Arts productions of The Nutcracker over the last 20 years, you know him as Uncle Drosselmeyer, Clara’s toy-making Godfather, who gives Clara her cherished gift.  Kathi Ferguson is the founder and director of the Howard County Ballet.  They will perform The Nutcracker, with a live orchestra, beginning next weekend in Ellicott City.  Curt Decker and Kathi Ferguson join Tom in the studio.

The Baltimore School for the Arts and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s production of The Nutcracker at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric Theater in Baltimore begins  Dec. 19 and ends on Dec. 21. Click here for the full schedule.  

You can catch the Howard County Ballet's Nutcracker, which also has live music by the Howard County Ballet Orchestra, next Sunday, as well as the following weekend at Centennial High School in Ellicott City.  
The Baltimore Ballet will present their version of the Nutcracker this weekend at Goucher College.  The Moscow Ballet will be in town with their touring production of this holiday classic at the Hippodrome Theater the weekend after next.   You will also find Nutcrackers in Annapolis, Aberdeen, Laurel, Bethesda, Germantown, and several other places around the state.

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