Arts and Entertainment

Children's Dance Theater to present 'Clara's Nutcracker Dream'

Children's Dance Theater brings "Clara's Nutcracker Dream" to the stage for three performances at the Auburn Avenue Theater.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and Dec. 8, with a 2 o'clock matinee set for Dec. 8 at the historic theater, 10 Auburn Ave.

"This is an exciting step for my dancers," said Stephanie Cox, CDT owner and choreographer. "They are in a full-scale ballet production, rather then just a holiday-themed recital."

"Clara's Nutcracker Dream" follows the same storyline as the holiday classic, "The Nutcracker". It's the story of a girl named Clara, who receives a nutcracker from her godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer. That night, her Nutcracker comes to life and wages a fierce battle with the mouse king. Clara saves the Nutcracker by throwing her slipper at the mouse king. With the mouse king distracted the Nutcracker is able to kill and defeat the Mouse king.

The Nutcracker and Clara travel through and enchanted snow forest to the Land of the Sweets. They are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and the other candies from around the world. The divertissements dance to celebrate Clara's heroine actions. Finally, Clara has to say goodbye and awakens back at home with her Nutcracker.

Those familiar with the ballet will notice that while all the traditional elements are included in the show, certain scenes have been shorted. This was decided to accommodate such a young cast.

"While we do have a few dancers that are around the age of 15, most of the cast is in the 7-12 year old category," Cox said. "I'm very proud of what they have accomplished; they have worked hard for it."

The family-oriented production is just over and hour in length with a 15-minute intermission.

Seattle artist Stephanie Parker was commissioned to paint two new backdrops for the show which includes a beautiful snow forest and a growing Christmas tree.

The cast of 44 consist of local youth and even a few moms and dads.

"The whole production has been a family effort," Cox said.

The Oothoudts from Federal Way have each member of the family involved. Charis is playing a mother in the party scene while her two daughters, Sydney, 12, and Mackenzie, 5, dance in the show. Brian Oothoudt is helping backstage and made the cannon in the fight scene.

Many moms and dads have helped by sewing costumes, making props and scenery.

"We even got a few dads on stage," Cox said.

The first dad to sign up was Auburn's own, Billy Jesse.

"He only had two conditions, no tights and he gets to be the mouse king," Cox said. "I said, You got a deal'"

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Showtime

• Who: Children's Dance Theater

• What: "Clara's Nutcracker Dream"

• Where: Auburn Avenue Theater, 10 Auburn Ave

• When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7; 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-8.

• Tickets: $10 pre-sale at www.auburnchildrensdancetheater.com or $15 at the door. Festival seating

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