Utah Regional Ballet
Kaelyn Magee is the Snow Queen in the Utah Regional Ballet's "Nutcracker," which is at the Covey Center in Provo.

PROVO — A holiday tradition for more than 20 years, the Utah Regional Ballet Company's "Nutcracker" returns Dec. 11 to the Utah County area.

This year's performance is choreographed by Jacqueline Colledge, who has been involved in "The Nutcracker" since 1964, either as a dancer or a choreographer.

" 'Nutcracker' over the years has become a family tradition for our patrons ,and we are thrilled to continue the tradition with professional ballet," said Colledge

"Even though this holiday classic has been around for years, it is amazing to see how it still delights audiences worldwide."

Additionally, this performance will feature Brian Debes, a new artist in residence, dancing the role of Cavalier. Debes has danced professionally with Pennsylvania Ballet and performs as a guest artist for various companies throughout the United States.

The evening performances will feature a live orchestra under the direction of Bryce Rytting, chairman of the music department at Utah Valley University, with original choreography by Colledge, scenic design by Bill Kirkpatrick and costume design by Sarah B. Price.

Each performance will also feature more than 125 dancers, with Rachelle Jardine and Kaelyn Magee dancing as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Amy Christenson, Chloe Hebdon and Shelbi Campbell performing as Clara, and Connor Sorenson and John Yandow performing in the role of Fritz.

The Utah Regional Ballet is one of two professional ballet companies in Utah that has performed for audiences worldwide, including China, Austria, Germany and throughout the continental United States.

"The Nutcracker" is funded through grants from Wells Fargo Bank, Utah Arts Council and Jacqueline's School of Ballet.

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As part of the ballet's educational outreach program, "The Nutcracker"will be performed twice for schools in Utah Valley during December. These performances include a narrative and interactive student/cast member question-and-answer session. At each performance the Utah Regional Ballet Guild will host a boutique with Christmas gifts for sale, including a wide selection of authentic nutcrackers.

If you go

What: "The Nutcracker," Utah Regional Ballet Company

Where: Covey Center for the Arts, 425 W. Center, Provo

When: Dec. 11, 16-18 and 20, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 11 and 18, 2 p.m.

How much: $15-$26

Phone: 801-852-7007

Web: www.coveycenter.org

e-mail: haddoc@desnews.com