Freshening up 'The Nutcracker'

Nov 21, 2013
Courtesy of: Mara Vinson New staging for Olympic Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” includes a bigger, busier, more “involved” battle scene with more rats and soldiers. Above, are some of the heads of the rat costumes.

Olympic Ballet Theatre's traditional performances of “The Nutcracker” have entertained audiences in the north end for more than 30 years.

Yet this year's production will hold some special surprises for those who return year after year to enjoy the show.

Artistic Directors Oleg Gorboulev and Mara Vinson, former leading dancers of the Moscow Classical Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, bring their professional expertise to the stage with a brand new party scene and battle scene in the first act, as well as a sparkling new backdrop designed by scenic artist Jeanne Franz for the second act.

“We premiered new choreography for the second act as well as the Snow Scene at the end of the first act in 2011, our first year directing OBT, and felt that it was time to complete the staging of the entire ballet for this year’s performances,” Vinson said.

The new staging includes a bigger, busier, more “involved” battle scene:  more rats and soldiers, including the addition of a squad of Little Soldiers – young dancers chosen directly from Olympic Ballet School, the professional level school affiliated with OBT.

Indeed, all children involved in the production are students of the school that have auditioned for coveted roles in “The Nutcracker,” and some roles have multiple casts that alternate performances.

Though there are updates to this year’s “The Nutcracker,” OBT patrons can rest assured that the ballet remains a traditional portrayal of Clara’s magical dream on Christmas Eve.

The holiday season is built on tradition, and audiences can choose from 12 performances to attend this year, including four abridged matinees.

Performances will be held for two weekends, Dec. 13-22, opening at the Everett Performing Arts Center and concluding at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

For tickets and more information, visit or call the OBT box office at 425-774-7570 between 11-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

-Edited by Beacon staff

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