In true holiday fashion, the Nutcracker Ballet comes to the Alberta Bair Stage on November 26-27, starting at 2 pm, presented by the Billings Symphony and San Diego Ballet Company.

According to the Billings Symphony press release, The San Diego Ballet Company brings 22 dancers, joining about 90 local dancers aged six through 16. Conductor Anne Harrigan will lead the orchestra of Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s legendary score.

This holiday classic follows the story of a young Clara, who will be played by a local dancer. On Christmas Eve, Clara receives a nutcracker and is transported to a place with dancing sugar plum fairies and an epic battle with the Rat King. The younger performers will play the roles of sugar babies, baby dolls, and little rats.

These kiddos get especially excited about the performance. Betty Loos, the co-founder of the School of Classical Ballet in Billings, says it’s something the little ones look forward to all year. Dancers and their instructors began rehearsal for the Nutcracker began in September.

The San Diego Ballet Company has performed The Nutcracker in Billings for many years and relies on local talent for a great show. Matt Carney, executive director for the San Diego Ballet, said the show could go on without them. He also says that their dancers typically dance to a recording, compared to in Billings, when they perform with a live orchestra.

“To dance to live music is special and to collaborate with the Billings Symphony and bring the Nutcracker to life is a true honor,” Carney said.

Tickets for the Nutcracker can be purchased online or by calling 406-256-6082. Don’t miss out on this performance to get yourself into the Christmas spirit!