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‘The Nutcracker’ will relive early days of Creighton Dance Company

The principal dancers in the upcoming production of It’s that magical time again at Creighton University when Christmas dreams come to life.

The Creighton Department of Fine and Performing Arts’ Dance Company, rounding out its 50th anniversary, will present its biannual production of the cherished Christmas tale, “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 2 through 5 on the Mainstage of the Lied Education Center for the Arts.

Following the imaginative journey of a young girl named Clara (danced by 12-year-old Omaha Academy of Ballet student Laura Dodge) into the Land of Sweets, “The Nutcracker” is rich with the familiar Tchaikovsky score and bold dance performances. Accompanied by her beloved Uncle Drosselmeyer (2002 Creighton alum and Admissions Office employee Robby Valenta) and The Nutcracker (Creighton student James Delage) a doll he has given her as a Christmas gift, Clara is entertained by the Sugar Plum Fairy (Creighton student Kanoe Sakamoto) and other dancing confections.

“The Nutcracker” tradition at Creighton began in the 1960s, around the time the Department of Fine and Performing Arts came into being and with the advent of the University’s dance program. The program was founded by Valerie Roche in 1966 at the invitation of the Rev. Lee Lubbers, S.J. Roche taught at Creighton until 2002. Now living in New Zealand, Roche will be in attendance for opening night of this latest “The Nutcracker” production.

Patrick Roddy, Creighton’s current coordinator of dance and director of “The Nutcracker,” also had his first role in the Omaha Civic Ballet production of “The Nutcracker,” directed by Roche, in 1968. The Rev. Don Doll, S.J., a professor of journalism at Creighton, was also in the cast for the 1968 show.

The cast for “The Nutcracker” features dancers from Creighton’s Dance Company and younger dancers from around the Omaha metro area.

Showtimes are Dec. 2 through 4 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for Creighton students. For ticket information or to purchase, call 402-280-1448 or visit the box office website.

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