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)

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