Herndon The Classical Ballet Theatre will present their annual production of “The Nutcracker” starting Nov. 30 at the Northern Virginia Community College Annandale campus.
“Work on this production starts in August, when we hold camps to learn the choreography, and it’s one of our most intensive productions every year,” said Alisher Saburov, the CBT’s artistic director. “Once we get started, the practices are tough. The girls are breathing hard, almost to the point of collapse. But it‘s something they‘re excited about all year long. As we get closer, the dancers come in every day knowing it’s coming.”
The hard work manifests itself in the theater’s most popular annual show, one that often sells out. “The Nutcracker” tells the story of a young girl’s adventures when a Christmas present comes to life, set to the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
“Every year is different, it’s sort of a living thing, we change parts from last year, add or take away props, and we never know how many people will be in the cast,” Saburov said. ““We have different casts, who bring their own personality and artistry to the roles, not just the technique.”
During the process, the dancers do a few outreach programs, welcoming in students from local schools. And while it gives a chance for children to see the show up close, it also requires the dancers to be spot on with every maneuver.
“It’s different than dancing on a stage, with the audience right in our studio, they can see every gesture, every expression each dancer makes, so they have to be in total control,” Saburov said.
Saburov and CBT Executive Director Cynthia Donavin both credited the theater’s parents for being the backbone behind the production, helping with everything to costumes, sales and loading and unloading equipment for the show.
The shows will be Saturday, Nov. 30 at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. at the Ernst Community Cultural Center Theater, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale.
Nonperishable food items for donation to LINK, a nonprofit that provides emergency food assistance, will be accepted at the door.
Tickets can be purchased at www.cbtnva.org/nutcracker. Military families, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can contact 703-471-0750 for a password for discounted tickets.