Bradenton's Nutcracker celebrates 20 years

Home-grown staging of holiday classic has become local tradition

December 12, 2013 

"The Nutcracker" is staged each year by the Dance Theatre of Bradenton and Bradenton's Ballet Repertory. For the fifth time, Mattison Bedinghaus, 15, stars as Clara. PHOTO PROVIDED

One of Bradenton's holiday traditions is its home-grown version of "The Nutcracker," staged each year by the Dance Theatre of Bradenton and Bradenton's Ballet Repertory.

The 20th year of the classic Christmas ballet is scheduled for performances Saturday and Sunday at the Davis Center for Performing Arts Center.

This version of "The Nutcracker" features original choreography by Allison Norton, artistic director of Dance Theatre of Bradenton and Bradenton Ballet Repertory.

For the fifth time, Mattison Bedinghaus, who's now 15 years old, stars as Clara.

The female dancers are all Norton's students at Dance Theatre of Bradenton. They range in age from the 3- and 4-year-olds who play sheep and the 5- and 6-year-olds who play gumdrops, to the high-school and college-age dancers who perform the more physically and artistically demanding roles.

All the male roles are danced by two professionals, cast out of auditions in New York.

Also starring are Norton's two Bichon Frises, Angel and Michael, who appear in the party scene.

Details: 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Davis Center for Performing Arts, 902 33rd St. Court W., Bradenton. Tickets: $20 adults, $15 children 13-under. Information: 855-222-2849, bradentonnutcracker.com.

-- Marty Clear

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