Conroe Courier December 8, 2003

Festival Ballet presents "The Nutcracker" Saturday and Sunday
at the Nancy Bock Center for the Performing Arts in The Woodlands.


Based on Hoffman's book, "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," the ballet was born in 1891 when choreographer Marius Petipa asked Tchaikovsky to write the music. The first showing took place at the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia, with the Kirov Ballet. It came to America by the 1940s, first performed in its entirety by the San Francisco Ballet featuring choreography by W. Christensen (its entire, including reviews of performances at some of the nation's top ballet companies, can be found at
The story of a young girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a battle with the Mouse King is a holiday tradition in all its forms -- as a ballet or as a play. The mystical, the enchanting visuals, the fluid score and wintry
costumes all add to the spirit of this tale of fantasy.

The Festival Ballet's annual production of "The Nutcracker" will take place at the Nancy Bock Center for Performing Arts in The Woodlands. The show opens Dec. 13 at 2 and 7 p.m., and continues through Dec. 14 at 4 p.m.

Directed by company artistic director Deborah Rayburn, the show features a tree that actually grows and falling snow. The cast is comprised of local dancers, though professional Guest Artists. Norbert Nirewicz (of the Polish National Ballet) and Rolando Yanes (from the Milwaukee Ballet) will appear.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online through the company's Web site at,

 Advance ticket purchase is recommended.