Port Townsend Ballet to perform The Nutcracker this weekend

PORT TOWNSEND — With its timeless magic, lavish costumes, and Snow, Dew Drop and Sugar Plum fairies, The Nutcracker takes fans on a dream-like journey of music and dance.

The classic holiday ballet is back with a full production staged and choreographed by John Bishop, the Port Townsend Ballet’s newly appointed artistic director as of September.

In its third season, The Nutcracker will be performed at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Wheeler Theater at Fort Worden State Park, 200 Battery Way in Port Townsend.

The Port Townsend Ballet is tweaking some aspects of the costumes, scenery and even choreography to make them more representative of the cultures they depict.

“We have altered the dance roles of the Act 2 divertissements such as Spanish, Arabian, Chinese and Russian to Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Trepak to be more representative of those cultures,” Bishop said. “We have also changed some of the typical costuming and choreography that have been displayed for decades. There is an ongoing movement recently for ballet companies to move in this direction as well.”


The troupe features a cast of 30, mostly comprised of students from Port Townsend Ballet with some of the more challenging roles being performed by former and current professional dancers.

The set includes hand-painted scenery, custom costumes, a new locally built sleigh for Clara, and professionally made props.

Set to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker is based on the 1816 German fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann. The story follows a young girl named Clara (Marie, in the book) Stahlbaum, who, on Christmas Eve, receives a magical Nutcracker doll as a gift from her mysterious godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer.

The story takes a dramatic turn when the clock strikes midnight and Clara finds herself in a world where toys come to life, mice battle toy soldiers and the Nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince.

The second act transports the audience to the Land of Sweets, ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy. Clara and the Nutcracker Prince encounter a series of dances by characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Cavalier and representatives from various countries.

The Nutcracker premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1892, and since then, it has become one of the most performed and cherished ballets worldwide.

Its popularity has extended beyond the stage to numerous adaptations in film, television and other forms of media.

“Having danced, choreographed and trained dancers in this unique ballet for over 50 years, I never get tired or bored with the magic it brings to audiences each year,” Bishop said.

More in Entertainment

Tyler Weed, left, and his father, John Weed, will present “Passing Traditions” with Cary Novotny on Saturday evening in Sequim.
‘Passing Traditions’ concert set Saturday in Sequim

John and Tyler Weed, along with Cary Novotny, will present… Continue reading

Ben Holmes will perform at Rainshadow Recording on Sunday evening.
Holmes to perform at Fort Worden on Sunday

Singer-Songwriter Ben Holmes will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.… Continue reading

One-woman show to be featured throughout July

Phina Pipia will present “Ha Ha Da Vinci” with… Continue reading

Brian Hoffman of Port Angeles, left, assists his children, from left, Clayton Hoffman, 6, Lacey Hoffman, 8, and Rhett Hoffman, 3, during a knot-tying workshop at the Port Angeles Yacht Club, one of numerous venues for Saturday’s Day of Play. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Day of Play

Children’s music singer Sarah Schwiethale of Port Angeles, front, along with helper… Continue reading

Jan and Mike Berman of from Port Ludlow dance to the band Marmalade during the first Concert on the Dock on Thursday at Pope Marine Park in Port Townsend. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Dancing to the music

Jan and Mike Berman of from Port Ludlow dance to the band… Continue reading

Curley Taylor, frontman for Louisiana-based Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, right, performs with bandmate Matthey Roberts on rubboard during Wednesday night’s Concert on the Pier at Port Angeles City Pier. The free weekly music series, hosted by the Juan de Fuca Foundation and sponsored by Strait View Credit Union, D.A. Davidson & Co., 102.1 FM The Strait and the Peninsula Daily News, continues at 6 p.m. Wednesday with rock and dance band The Nasty Habits. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Concert series

Curley Taylor, frontman for Louisiana-based Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, right, performs… Continue reading

“Blue Lightning” is one of the artworks by Shirley Scheier, who will give a free artist talk on Thursday at Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery in Port Townsend. (Shirley Scheier)
Art conversation Thursday in Port Townsend

“Below the Equator,” “Low Tide” and “Sweet Slumber” are… Continue reading

Weekly free outdoor concerts presented across Peninsula

Free outdoor summer concerts will continue on the North Olympic Peninsula next… Continue reading

Sekiu Fun Days, Day of Play set this weekend

The annual Day of Play, plus plays and Sekiu Fun Days will… Continue reading

The cast of "The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It" is, from left, Dawn Alexander,  Wesley Vollmer, Tara Dupont, Donna Behrens, Ben Heintz, Zack Wiedenhoeft and Marissa Wilson LaJambe. The comedy arrives Friday at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse. Diane Urbani de la Paz/For Peninsula Daily News
Shakespearean ‘escape from reality’ to open Friday

Performances at Port Angeles Community Playhouse through July

Music on the Strait introduces children’s tickets

Music on the Strait, Port Angeles’ homegrown chamber music… Continue reading