Ballet company bringing 'The Nutcracker' to Batavia

Dec 15, 2016

This weekend, a timeless classic will spring to life as the Land of Sweets once again opens its doors to welcome its prince.

The New York State Ballet, located in Rochester, will be coming to the Batavia High School to put on a production of the 1892 classic, "The Nutcracker."

"We noticed that Batavia doesn't have a resident ballet company, and I don't believe there is a Nutcracker in Batavia," said Katherine Johnson, artistic director for the New York State Ballet. "So we thought it would be a really great way to bring back the classical art form of ballet to Batavia."

Shows are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Batavia High School, 260 State St.

"The Nutcracker" is a 90 minute ballet taking place on Christmas Eve in a middle-class family's home in Germany. It focuses on a little girl named Clara. During the party, Clara's uncle brings presents for the children, including a nutcracker, and performs magic tricks. After everyone has gone to bed, Clara sneaks downstairs at midnight, and the room explodes with magic. A battle between the Mice King and the Nutcracker begins.

Johnson said people can expect to see a full-length professional ballet company delivering "The Nutcracker," and she loves the play from start to finish.

"Ballet was created by Louis XIV in France. The art of ballet has really evolve in the last 100 years. In a lot of ways, ballet is a dying art form, so there is very few companies dedicated to preserving classical ballet," she said. "In classical ballet, you typically see ballerinas in tutus and pointe shoes on their toes, and the New York State Ballet really strives to preserve that tradition."

New York State Ballet company has only been around for three years, and this is the first time it has performed "The Nutcracker" in Batavia, although it has been doing shows in Rochester for the last few years.

The company has over 12 paid high-caliber professional dancers, Johnson said,

"Our company is not recreational at all; the people that are paid dancers had to audition to be members of the company," she said.

Tickets are $10 for children and $15 for adults. They are available at the door and by calling 1-800-838-3006.

By Mallory Diefenbach, Batavia Daily News