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Fairies, toy soldiers, a Mouse King and sugar plums all make for a magical experience during the holidays, not to mention a perfect outing with loved ones. Bring the whole family to see the Eastern Shore Ballet Company perform their 23rd annual production of the “Nutcracker.”

The classic performance comes to life with the help of Tchaikovsky’s music and the Eastern Shore Ballet Company. The Eastern Shore Ballet was first established in1991 with the aim to provide a classical ballet venue for the Greater Salisbury area. The organization has accomplished this in large part because of the popularity of their annual “Nutcracker” performance. With a show attracting this much attention, it’s one you don’t want to miss.

Variations of the Nutcracker have been performed since 1816. However, the well-known version that Tchaikovsky composed was not created until 1892 and even then it did not garner the same acclaim that it receives today. It was not until the 1960’s that the performance became a popular Christmas tradition in America.

The ballet begins in the home of Clara, whose parents are hosting a Christmas party. Amid the festivities, Clara’s godfather gives gifts to all the children and gives Clara the highly coveted nutcracker. Unfortunately, Clara’s brother, Fritz, takes hold of the beautiful nutcracker and immediately breaks the toy’s jaw. Clara looks on through teary eyes as her godfather wraps the dolls jaw with cloth and then places the Nutcracker underneath the tree.

After the party is over and all of the guests have left, Clara returns to check on her beloved toy. Just as the clock strikes one the Mouse King appears with his army of mice who are suddenly in battle with the Nutcracker and his army of tin soldiers. In the midst of the battle, Clara distracts the Mouse King by throwing her slipper at his head, giving the Nutcracker a chance to stab and defeat his enemy.

Because of Clara’s good deed, she is immediately rewarded as her Nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince and they are transported to the Land of Sweets. In this act of the ballet, many famous dances are beautifully performed to represent different candies and treats from around the world. For example, there is a Spanish style dance, representing chocolate, an Arabian dance to portray coffee, candy canes from Russia, and a grand finale performance done by the Sugar Plum Queen and her Cavalier.

Performances of the enchanting tale will be held Saturday, December 7th at 2:00 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. There is also a matinee on Sunday, December 8th at 2:00 p.m. in the Wicomico High School Auditorium in Salisbury, Maryland.  Ticket prices are $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for students and seniors, or $50.00 for a family of four.  Tickets can be ordered by phone at 443-358-2300.