Thanksgiving week only at The Township Auditorium. The holiday classic Features international guest artists, a company of over 150 performers together with full Orchestra and chorus. Performances are November 21 and 22 at 10 am, November 24 and 25 at 7:30 pm, and November 26, at 3 PM. This performance marks the 30th Season Of Carolina Ballet.

This is the only full-length production of this holiday classic in Columbia that uses Full orchestra and chorus. The Columbia Festival Orchestra is conducted by Neil Casey. He is the Assistant Director of orchestras at the University of South Carolina. He is also The Conductor for Opera at USC. He has been guest conductor for orchestras Throughout the United States and with the Karelian Philharmonic Orchestra in Petrazovodsk, Russia. The children’s choir for the production is the Capella Pueri of St. Peter’s Catholic School, under the direction of Andrew Kotylo.

“The Nutcracker,” one of a series of ballet masterpieces by Russian Composer Pytor Ilyich Tschaikovsky, has become a tradition heralding the holiday season Throughout the Western world. The ballet is a magical story of a magnificent Christmas party, elegant and Mysterious guests, toy soldiers, dancing dolls, mischievous boys and a young girl’s Dream. Clara, the young girl, helps an enchanted nutcracker defeat the evil Rat King.

The victory transforms the nutcracker into a prince who shows his gratitude By leading the heroine through a snowstorm of crystal snowflakes to the Kingdom of Sweets. There she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy who crowns her a true princess. An Array of rare confections dances for her enjoyment.

Carolina Ballet’s production, under the general direction of John Whitehead with Artistic Director, Mimi Worrell, is based closely on the linear notes created by 19th Century choreographers, Lev Ivanov and Ivan Petipa, working in collaboration with Tschaikovsky. Together they created the score and dances as a seamless whole to Showcase the talents of the dancers and students of the Imperial Ballet and School in St. Petersburg, Russia. The first production of “The Nutcracker,” was danced on December 12, 1882 at the Imperial Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg., Russia.

Eric Beckham will dance the role of the Nutcracker Cavalier. Beckham, a native Of Columbia, South Carolina, received his pre-professional training at the Carolina Ballet Center for Dance Education, and for summer intensives with the SC Governor’s School For the Arts and Humanities. He further studied at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York where he also had to opportunity to learn and dance Balanchine Choreography. He was a guest artist in California, and a member of the National Ballet Of Canada. He is currently dancing with the Miami City Ballet.

The Sugar Plum Fairy will be performed by International Guest Artist, Sehyun Jin.

Guest Artist-in-Residence, Eriberto Jimenez, a native of Bogotá, Colombia, will Appear in the first act. He has danced with the Miami Hispanic Ballet, the Cuban Classical Ballet and the Ballet Theatre of Miami. He is the Assistant Director and Coordinator for the International Ballet Festival of Miami. He created the choreography For the Spanish Chocolate divertissement and for many years danced that soloist role for Carolina Ballet. He will appear as Clara’s father, Count Silberhaus.

Artistic Director, Mimi Worrell, will perform as the Countess Silberhaus, Clara’s Mother, for this 30th Anniversary. Dr. Bob Schnackenberg, a character actor who has performed in many Community theater productions is celebrating his 30th season with Carolina Ballet. He Has the role of the Grandfather, Count Ezterhazy with Dr. Tina Forsthoefel as the Dowager Countess Silberhaus.

Caleb Roberts will dance both as Snow Cavalier with Catherine Brady and the Guardian Angel with Sarah Butler. Roberts who began his dance training under the Direction of Mimi Worrell at the Carolina Ballet’s Center for Dance Education, danced With the Cincinnati Ballet. Ms. Brady has studied with the Richmond Ballet and Alonzo King’s LINES. Ms. Butler has had extensive additional training with both Cincinnati Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Ballet.

The Arabian Coffee divertissement will be danced by Corey Mangum with Hollis Baroody. Mangum, is currently a member of the New York based international Ajkun Ballet and is a guest artist with the Connecticut Ballet. He studied pre-professionally as the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and at the Carolina Ballet Center for Dance Education. Ms. Baroody has studied in summer intensive programs with the Cincinnati Ballet.

Guest Artist, Kevin Hernandez will dance the Russian Sugar Twist divertissement With Mariclaire Livingston. Hernandez, gold medalist at the International Competition in Caracas and former dancer with the Teresa Carreno Ballet in Caracas-Venezuela was a finalist in the World Ballet Competition in the United States. He is a member of the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami and Guest Artist in the Staten Island Ballet in New York City. Mariclaire Livingston, is in the pre-professional program. Her ballet intensive Training includes the Kirov Ballet Academy and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.

Emiliana Mullaney will dance the Dew Drop Fairy. She has studied with American Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet, Richmond Ballet and is a pre- professional Student at Carolina Ballet.

The Viennese Marzipan Divertissement will be danced by Wesley Miller with Lily-Cate Buchanan and Adeline Fletcher. These pre-professional dancers study at Carolina Ballet’s Center for Dance Education and are also training for the Youth American Grand Prix. Audrey Boyette will dance the Empress in the Chinese Tea divertissement with Madison Summerall as the Dragonfly.

The role of Herr Dr. Drosselmeyer, the mysterious toy-maker who created the Enchanted Nutcracker and guides the young Clara on her dream journey will be Portrayed by Jimmy Moon. Moon, a native of Columbia, is a New York based actor.

He has performed at Carnegie Hall and appears in a variety of off-Broadway shows, Independent films and commercials.

Susan Anderson, the director of the dance program at the University of South Carolina will dance the character role of the Widow. The character of the Widow was Introduced into the ballet by Ann Brodie after her visit to the former Soviet Union as a Distinguished guest of the Ministry of Culture. Brodie, saw the mysterious guest, dressed all in black as a stunning character role when she saw the ballet at the Maryinsky Theatre. From that character Ms. Brodie created the “Widow” who Scandalizes the otherwise traditional Victorian Christmas Party.

Quinn Mangum will dance the role of Nicholas, the young cadet, who is Transformed from an enchanted Nutcracker back to the cavalier for the young Clara. He Is a pre-professional student at the Center for Dance Education. Clara, the young girl whose dreams weave the magic of the story will be danced by Bridie Castell. She is a pre-professional student at the Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet Center for Dance Education program preparing for the Youth American Grand Prix.

Brandon Stephens, also a student at Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet Center for Dance Education will portray her younger brother, Fritz.

Again, this season, the Toy Soldiers, dancing the original choreography created by Naomi Calvert, under the direction of Jennifer Reimer, will be from Miss Libby’s School in Sumter.

Chris Beattie reprises his role as the evil Rat King with Nora Castell as his Consort. Ms. Castell, a pre- professional student at Carolina Ballet’s Center for Dance Education, has trained with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Joffery Ballet NYC and Cincinnati Ballet.

Spanish Chocolate divertissement will be danced by Victoria Angle and Nicholas White, who trained pre professionally with Carolina Ballet and danced with North Carolina Dance Theatre. Miss Angle, a student at Carolina Ballet Center for Dance Education has also completed programs with Orlando Ballet, Nashville Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.

In recognition of the support Carolina Ballet receives from the City of Columbia and Richland County, the Friday evening performance honors the First Responders and their families from City and County.

Reservations and tickets for the performances are available by calling the Township at 803-576-2350 or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. For special group rates or group reservations contact the CMFA at 803-771-6303.