Intercity Ballet Theatre to stage 38th annual performance of The Nutcracker

A Christmas tradition, the Intercity Ballet Theatre of Kingsport will once again stage performances of “The Nutcracker” next month.

Who will be there

Coming to Kingsport will be Megan Buckley and Gregory Brown, both of whom have danced with the Metropolitan Opera.

Originally from St. Louis, Buckley trained at Alexandra Ballet, a pre-professional company. There she performed full-length ballets by Marek Cholewa, Rosanna Ruffo and other choreographers. She has danced with Milwaukee Ballet 2, Portland Ballet in Maine and Verb Ballet in Cleveland, and she won first place at the National Society of Arts & Letters-STL.

Brown was born in Illinois and began dancing when he was 12. At 16, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Houston Ballet Academy. He has danced with Houston Ballet II, Texas Ballet Theater, Ballet X and Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular. He will be performing the role of Snow Prince.

Again joining Intercity Ballet this season will be Brian Murphy, who currently dances with Verb Ballet. He has danced with Ohio Ballet, Ground Works Dance Theater, Cleveland Ballet, San Jose Ballet, Nashville Ballet and Ballet Met, among others. Murphy will be dancing in the roles of Coffee (Arabian) and Cavalier.

Filling the role of Snow Queen will be Intercity Ballet’s own Hallie Miracle Looney. She began dancing with Centre for the Performing Arts at the age of 4 and now is part of its teaching staff. Looney has studied with the Nashville Ballet during its summer programs for the past two years and has been awarded entrance into its advanced program.

Other dancers

Local dancers giving their time and talent include Phil Clemons as The Nutcracker and Colin Rose as Brigidier. Ella Halliburton and Rachael Cartmel will share the role of Clara, with Kaylie Joyner as understudy. Anthony Hathaway will play Fritz, with Micah Lawson as understudy.

Mechanical Doll will be performed by Jessica Gallimore, and the role of Devil Doll will once again be danced by Mollie Kate Blalock, Daryl Conrad, Aaron Jackson and Abby Lester. Tree Fairies will be Hannah Brickey and Sara Stewart, with Chloe Rose joining them in the role of Dew Drop Fairies. Dancing the role of Reed Pipes will be Kihley Bellamy, Jacquelyn Crawford, Hannah Halliburton, Taylor Hubbard and Madison Rice.

The role of Spanish will be danced by Abby Bright. The roles of Clara’s parents will be shared by Jeff Luethke and Kristen Looney, with the role of Grandfather played by Darrell Duncan. Daniel Ratcliff will be the ever-popular Rat King and will be adding the role of Mother Ginger.

Mike McGinn will reprise his role of Uncle Drosselmeyer. Dancing the role of Trepak will be Gracie Blevins and Rhiley Goddard, with Abby Lester as understudy. Chinese will be Isabella Blevins, Dakota Buckingham and Phil Clemons.

Performances

This year, 4,500 schoolchildren will be invited to enjoy morning shows at Eastman’s Toy F. Reid Employee Center Theater on Dec. 7 and 8 at 9:30 a.m. These special performances will be presented free of charge to students and teachers, with additional seating for the public available for a nominal fee.

The public is invited to enjoy the evening performances on Dec. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. Audience members will experience a snowstorm, see a forest magically appear and a tree grow from 10 feet to 30 feet, all inside the Eastman Theater.

Tickets for the evening performances will be on sale beginning Nov. 18 at Blue Ridge Properties, the Civic Auditorium and the Toy F. Reid Employee Center. Reserved seating tickets will be sold for the orchestra floor of the theater, while the balcony tickets are festival seating. If available, tickets may also be purchased at the door.

About Intercity Ballet

Membership in Intercity Ballet Theatre of Kingsport is open to all local dancers. Each year, dancers from all over the area come to audition for “The Nutcracker.” This year, the production will have a cast of more than 160 dancers and actors from six regional schools, along with many adult community leaders and businesspeople.

Dorothy Hanner Ratcliff, a native New Yorker, is artistic director of Intercity Ballet of Kingsport. She studied dance with the American School of Ballet, Ballet Arts, Robert Joffrey and Tour Jete International in Cannes, France. She has danced professionally throughout the U.S. and Canada and was a member of the world famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. She has also taught dance and choreographed events throughout the Southeast and now is director of the Centre for the Performing Arts.

For more information about Intercity Ballet Theatre, “The Nutcracker” performances or ticket sales, visit www.intercityballet.org or call (423) 246-2199.