Family Time: 54 dancers bring 'The Nutcracker' to life

A holiday tradition continues with Rochester Dance Company's 13th annual performance of "The Nutcracker." Although the show delivers a familiar cast of characters, storyline and music, it also promises to offer something new.

"Every Nutcracker is slightly different depending on the dance company," said Ted Sothern, RDC's artistic director. "This year's show is fun because we have a lot of new young dancers in the company. That means in addition to dancers en pointe, we'll have 11 cute little mice scurrying across the stage."

Every spring youth dancers from all area dance studios are invited to audition for the company and are assigned roles in RDC's spring show and "The Nutcracker."

Rehearsals for "The Nutcracker's" 54 dancers, ages 6 through high school, kicked off in August with a one-week dance intensive, followed by Friday and Saturday rehearsals starting in September, and culminating with three school shows, one free-to-attend performance for children and adults with special needs, and three shows this weekend that are open to the public.

"There's just something about 'The Nutcracker' that's magical," said Sothern, who plays the role of Drosselmeyer in the show. "You're backstage with your makeup on. You hear the music. It's the magic of dance. You could be so tired, so worn out. What brings everyone through is the dedication and the excitement. Our dancers love dance. They love what they do, and that shows in the performance."


Tickets to the show are $18 and $22 and are available through the Mayo Civic Center Box Office or Ticketmaster. Appropriate for family members of all ages, the show runs an hour and a half with an intermission.

Rochester Dance Company’s "The Nutcracker"

Where:Mayo Civic Center Presentation Hall, 30 Civic Center Drive SE, Rochester

When:3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Phone:328-2222 (Mayo Civic Center), 800-745-3000 (Ticketmaster)

On the web: , ,

More dance info


• If you have a little dancer, Rochester Community Education’s Preschool Winter Enrichment catalog offers a variety of dance classes (tap, ballet, jazz) for ages 18 months and older. Check out all the options online,

• Lace up your dancing shoes for the Rochester Public Library’s Dance Party, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 26. Part of their ongoing Hooray for Saturday! programming, the event is free and open to family members of all ages. Click on for more information.

• Rochester Parks & Recreation’s Adaptive Recreation offers two upcoming holiday dances for anyone in the family age 13 and older. The Christmas Dance is Dec. 18 at Willow Creek Middle School and the Valentine Coronation and Dance is Feb. 12 at Willow Creek Middle School. Both require pre-registration by calling 328-2539.

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