Lead Soldier Elizabeth Eriksen runs off with mouse Autumn Katasse during rehearsal Saturday, Dec.1 for “The Nutcracker.”(Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Lead Soldier Elizabeth Eriksen runs off with mouse Autumn Katasse during rehearsal Saturday, Dec.1 for “The Nutcracker.”(Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Juneau Dance Theatre is keeping a classic fresh

New choreography and costumes for ‘The Nutcracker’

Making a holiday staple fresh can be a tough nut to crack.

But that’s exactly what Juneau Dance Theatre is hoping to do with its upcoming performances of “The Nutcracker.”

Bridget Lujan, executive director for the dance theater, said this year’s performances will feature new choreography from artistic director Zachary Hench and expanded roles.

“We do try to add new elements each year,” Lujan said. “The stage is real full. Along with new roles comes a lot of new costumes.”

Lujan said that’s particularly true for the Lead Tea and Marzipan Corps, and audiences can expect to see moves from the Dew Drop Fairy and Snow Queen, too.

Performances at the Juneau-Douglas High School Auditorium Friday Dec. 7 through Sunday Dec. 9 will feature accomplished guest artists, too.

Lauren Fadeley and Jovani Furlan, principal dancers for the Miami City Ballet, will be part of the ensemble that includes performers from ages 6 to 73.

“It’s kind of a big deal,” Lujan said.

Even with new elements, Lujan said the show and its music will bring up memories for those who make “The Nutcracker” a holiday tradition — especially Tchaikovsky’s iconic music that accompanies the famous ballet.

“I think it stirs a lot of childhood memories for adults,” Lujan said. “We might also be some people’s first time. We love when that happens.”

An extra something sweet

Saturday and Sunday “Nutcracker” shows come with the possibility of an extra treat.

For $15 with the purchase of a ticket, there is a Land of Sweets Tea and Tour.

Before the show, there’s story and crafts time, tea and treats at intermission and a tour on stage after the show.

“It’s adorable,” Lujan said. “It’s a fun experience that a lot of companies add to their ‘Nutcracker’ tours.”

Know & Go

What: “The Nutcracker”

When: 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9

Where: Juneau-Douglas High School, 1639 Glacier Ave.

Admission: Tickets are $20 for general admission or $15 for seniors, students and youths. Tickets are available at Hearthside Books, Juneau Arts & Culture Center, Juneaudance.org or at the door.


• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com.


Ty Yamaoka carries Megan Lujan during a Saturday, Dec. 1 rehearsal of “The Nutcracker.”(Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Ty Yamaoka carries Megan Lujan during a Saturday, Dec. 1 rehearsal of “The Nutcracker.”(Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Young dancers applaud during the puppet show within “The Nutcracker” in a Saturday, Dec. 1 rehearsal for Juneau Dance Theatre’s upcoming production of the classic show,(Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Young dancers applaud during the puppet show within “The Nutcracker” in a Saturday, Dec. 1 rehearsal for Juneau Dance Theatre’s upcoming production of the classic show,(Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Isabel Danner carries a nutcracker during rehearsal for “The Nutcracker” Saturday, Dec. 1 at Juneau Dance Theatre. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Isabel Danner carries a nutcracker during rehearsal for “The Nutcracker” Saturday, Dec. 1 at Juneau Dance Theatre. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Ty Yamaoka as Herr Stahlbaum dips Frau Stahlbaum as played by Alisha Falberg during rehearsal for the upcoming Juneau Dance Theatre production of “The Nutcracker.” (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Ty Yamaoka as Herr Stahlbaum dips Frau Stahlbaum as played by Alisha Falberg during rehearsal for the upcoming Juneau Dance Theatre production of “The Nutcracker.” (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

More in Home

Wreath bearers present wreaths for fallen comrades, brothers and sisters in arms during a Memorial Day ceremony at Alaskan Memorial Park on Monday. Laying wreaths on the graves of fallen heroes is a way to honor and remember the sacrifices made. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies offer new ways to ‘never forget’ those who served

New installations at memorial sites, fresh words of reminder shared by hundreds gathering in Juneau.

Thunder Mountain High School graduates celebrate after moving their tassels to the left, their newly received diplomas in hand, at the end of Sunday’s commencement ceremony. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
‘Forever a Falcon’: Thunder Mountain High School celebrates final graduating class

147 seniors get soaring sendoff during 16th annual commencement full of heightened emotions.

Seniors at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé enter the gymnasium for their commencement ceremony on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
JDHS graduates celebrate journey from virtual ‘pajama class’ freshmen to virtuous camaraderie

Resolve in overcoming struggles a lifelong lesson for future, seniors told at commencement ceremony.

Sierra Guerro-Flores (right) listens to her advisor Electra Gardinier after being presented with her diploma at Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi High School’s graduation ceremony Sunday in the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé auditorium. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Alternatives are vast for Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi High School’s graduating class

31 students take center stage during ceremony revisiting their paths at the school and what’s next.

The LeConte state ferry in 2023. (Lex Treinen / Chilkat Valley News)
Stranded Beerfest travelers scramble to rebook after LeConte ferry breakdown

Loss of 225-passenger ferry leaves many Juneau-bound revelers looking for other ways home.

Thunder Mountain High School pitcher Jack Lovejoy catches a line-drive hit to end the Region V softball championship game against Sitka High School on Saturday at Melvin Park. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Thunder Mountain High School Falcons are conference champs, heading to state softball title tournament

TMHS rebounds from 19-12 loss in back-to-back Saturday games against Sitka, wins finale 9-3.

A Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé player tries to control the ball during a May 3 game at Adair-Kennedy Field. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
JDHS comes up short in state soccer title games

Boys fall behind early in 4-1 loss to Soldotna, girls miss opportunities in 2-0 loss to Kenai.

A photo taken from the terminal roof shows the extent of the first phase of paving to accommodate large aircraft. (Mike Greene / City and Borough of Juneau)
Large-scale repaving project plants itself at Juneau International Airport

Work may take two to three years, schedule seeks to limit impact on operations.

Capital Transit buses wait to depart from the downtown transit center on Thursday. Route number 8 was adjusted this spring. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
More service, visitor information helping Capital Transit to keep up with extra cruise passenger traffic

Remedies made after residents unable to board full buses last year seem to be working, officials say

Most Read