Making Spirits Bright! Enchanting “Nutcracker for Kids” Dazzles with Twirling Ballerinas, Magical Music and an Abundance of Holiday Fun!
Children’s eyes light up when beautiful ballerinas dance and twirl to Tchaikovsky’s charming and imaginative music for Pacific Symphony’s annual “Nutcracker for Kids,” led by the Symphony’s new Assistant Conductor Roger Kalia and featuring the Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT). The most popular concert of the Family Musical Mornings series, presented by Farmers & Merchants Bank, “Nutcracker for Kids” brings to life the enchanted world of toy soldiers, waltzing flowers and the Sugar Plum Fairy in a 50-minute version of the famous ballet adapted especially for children ages 5 and above. The orchestra performs the ballet’s most famous moments including “Clara and the Nutcracker,” “Waltz of the Flowers,” “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and “A Pine Forest in Winter.” Actress Stephanie Draude (“A Sherlock Holmes Halloween” and “Superheroes”) joins in as elf Clementine Sparkletoes to narrate the story told through music and dance. And to top off this festive tradition—Santa Claus makes a special appearance with his young “Elves in Training,” along with Miss Sparkletoes, to lead the audience in a merry sing-along!
“‘The Nutcracker’ has been a holiday favorite for as long as I can remember,” says Maestro Kalia. “Not only is it one of the greatest musical masterpieces ever written, the visual aspect of watching the dancers mixed in with the music is a wonderful sight. The music is absolutely extraordinary, and there are a wide range of emotions throughout the ballet. One of my favorite dances is ‘A Pine Forest in Winter,’ which is perhaps the most beautiful and lyrical in the entire ballet, and features lush strings and a stirring climax with powerful brass and percussion. The music depicts Clara’s Nutcracker being transformed into a handsome human prince, where he proceeds to take Clara on a magical sleigh into a moonlit pine forest.”
The much-loved fairy tale comes to life on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, and also includes a Musical Carnival at 9 a.m. (for the 10 a.m. show) and 12:15 p.m. (for the 11:30 a.m. show). Tickets are $35-$60, and are available at (714) 755-5799 and Click Here.
“The ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ is another favorite moment of mine and is one of the most famous and recognizable tunes from ‘The Nutcracker,” says Kalia. “The use of the celeste was groundbreaking at the time, and creates a lovely effect on top of strummed strings. Working with dancers is always a thrilling experience, and the Festival Ballet Theatre is one of the finest companies in Orange County. Tchaikovsky captures the spirit and essence of each dance wonderfully, and I am looking forward to seeing how the Festival Ballet Theatre will interpret these various dances.”
During the concert, children learn about different percussion instruments including the triangle, bass drum, timpani and celesta. The merriment continues at the Musical Carnival where the Caroling Connection and Northwood High School Tuba Ensemble perform holiday music. Children can make ornaments filled with holiday wishes, and meet and take photos with Santa, Symphony musicians and the dancers from FBT. The Symphony has also partnered with Pretend City to present the Imagination Playground.