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San Diego ballet company brings ‘Nutcracker’ to Reno stage
by Ruth Anderson
Dec 17, 2008 | 1664 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City Ballet/Dale Stokes - 
Gerardo Gil as Cavalier and Janica Smith as the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker."
City Ballet/Dale Stokes - Gerardo Gil as Cavalier and Janica Smith as the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker."
In honor of the classic Christmas ballet “The Nutcracker,” the Grand Sierra Resort will host the City Ballet of San Diego in its rendition of the famous Russian performance.

The two-act fairy tale production will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Grand Theatre.

The City Ballet’s performance has been voted “San Diego’s Best Nutcracker” and described by the San Diego Union-Tribune as “a plum of a Nutcracker.”

Nationally renowned choreographer Elizabeth Wistrich has drawn inspiration from Russian ballet dancers and choreographers Lev Ivanov, Vassily Vainonen and Rudolp Nureyev’s versions of the work. By combining a wide range of theatrical talents, Wistrich breathes life into the more than 100-year-old ballet.

The performance follows the storyline of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet about Clara, a young girl who is given a Nutcracker for Christmas by her godfather. As Clara soon realizes, the Nutcracker can come to life and after a grand battle with the Mouse King, the Nutcracker transforms into a prince. He takes Clara on a marvelous journey through the Land of the Snow and to the Kingdom of the Sweets. After a score of enticing musical and dance numbers, Clara wakes up under the Christmas tree with the Nutcracker toy in her arms and the curtain closes.

The City Ballet’s set and costume design have been described as “opulent,” matched only by their “dazzling” virtuoso dancing.

Aside from her innovative choreography, Wistrich is also noted for her casting choices for the production. Instead of casting children for the roles, she employs professional dancers.

In this performance, Clara will be played by City Ballet feature performer Janica Smith and principal performer Gerardo Gil will play the Prince.

A more mature cast is helpful for the believability of the romance between Clara and the Prince, allowing the audience to be drawn in by their emotional range. The dancers’ level of maturity is a benefit to the audience, who will have the opportunity to witness powerful lifts and strong technique.

Tchaikovsky’s score, performed by the City Ballet orchestra, bring to life the passion and emotion of this two-hour fairy-tale ballet.

Tickets range in price based on seating and can be purchased through the Grand Sierra Box office, or online at

For many families who have made “The Nutcracker” a holiday tradition, the City Ballet provides a unique opportunity to see premier performers bring this timeless fairy tale to life.

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