By Jessica Isaacs
Photos by Shannon Blevins, Dreamcatcher Photography
It’s not quite Christmastime in the High Country until Studio K’s annual performance of The Nutcracker rolls into town. This cherished local tradition will herald the holiday season with two shows on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Appalachian State’s Schaefer Center for Performing Arts.
Cay Harkins, director of Studio K Youth Ballet Company, says this year’s show will feature more than 300 performers and more than 400 costumes.
“We have so many children in the performance that the whole community will recognize. If you have lived in this community for even one day, you will know somebody in the show,” she said. “More than likely, you are going to know a lot of people in the show.”
Studio K’s vibrant and dramatic adaptation of the Russian ballet will feature the classical Tchaikovsky score and a plethora of entertaining elements that will keep audience members of all ages engaged.
“There is a lot of festivity with it. Most ballets are very classical, but we make sure we do the ballet in a way that is exciting and something very cool that everyone can like,” said Harkins. “There is snow flying and lots of stuff to keep everybody interested.”
Hattie Rose Greene will star as Clara this year in what will be Studio K’s 20th performance of The Nutcracker in the High Country, for which the ballet company has been preparing since late summer.
“Everybody says they can’t wait to get started on it every year and we start as soon as we can. We have a great bond. It’s just a big family — a huge, wonderful family. When one dancer is on stage, we will have as many crammed around off stage to watch and support and cheer them on as we can,” Harkins said. “It’s an amazing bond and a really good group of very talented dancers who are always challenging themselves to take on bigger and better roles.”
The Nutcracker will feature performances at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. this year on Dec. 10. Tickets are on sale now for $14 for adults and $8 for students at theschaefercenter.org.
For more information about Studio K, check out studiokdancer.com.