A 26-year holiday tradition, “The Nutcracker” will be performed this weekend by the Bonnie Haney Dance and Performing Company at the Moorhead High School stage.
Performances will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday. More than 100 people, ages four to 21, will participate in the show, said Bonnie Haney, director and choreographer for the show.
“It’s a real tradition,” Haney said. “They’ve been training since early fall.”
The ballet features a young character named Clara, who has a fantastic dream that involves the Nutcracker Prince the defeat of the Mouse King with seven heads. When the Sugar Plum Fairy hears of the defeat, she rewards Clara and the prince with a series of dances such as The Spanish Dance, The Arabian Dance, The Russian Dance, The Chinese Dance and The Waltz of Flowers.
Haney especially enjoys The Russian Dance.
“It’s a very athletic, acrobatic, high-energy dance,” she said.
Sandra Schmidt, a dancer and a junior German exchange student at Concordia, has enjoyed preparing for the production. As an exchange student, dancing has also pushed her out into the community to meet new people.
“I really like to get to work with so many people,” she said. “I’ve got to make a lot of new friends.”
The studio has prepared for the show since September, practicing two times a week for three hours, Schmidt said. In the last month, dancers have also attended seven-hour rehearsals on Saturdays. For Schmidt, it’s a way to get her mind off of studying.
Ivana Dillas, a dancer and senior at Concordia, has been in ballet since she was six years old and has never missed seeing the “The Nutcracker” at Christmas. She thinks the ballet is the perfect way for the community to revive traditional Christmas spirit.
“Sometimes we miss out on things generations did before,” she said.
One aspect of the show that has impressed Dillas is Haney’s dedication to the production. Haney begins working early in the morning to get ready for the show, and she is present for every age group’s rehearsal, she said.
“She literally does everything,” Dillas said. “Usually you need huge team of productions to get things going.”
In addition to the ballet, the performance will include a holiday show featuring Irish shoe dancers, hip-hop dancers and drum dancers. Instrumentalists and carolers will also provide music before the show and during intermission.
Tickets for students are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Ticket for adults are $22 in advance and $24 at the door. They can be picked up at the Bonnie Haney Dance and Performing Company in Moorhead, and they are also available through www.bonniehaneydance.com.