Brookwood Elementary School once again will honor a Christmas tradition with its 15th annual performance of The Nutcracker on Tuesday and Wednesday.
More than 140 Brookwood Elementary fourth-graders have been rehearsing the classic Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky ballet since September.
"I have to say this year has to be our best groups ever," said April Storm Hartsell, who choreographs the ballet and owns the Martinez Evans Dance Studio. "A lot of these kids have never had dance, and it amazes me how quickly they catch on."
The school's abbreviated version of the ballet runs about 35 minutes and focuses mostly on the second act, Brookwood Elementary music teacher Johnny Carr said.
"This is a youth version of The Nutcracker that was written especially for youth," Carr said. "Even though it still uses Tchaikovsky's original classical music, it has lyrics to the songs so the kids can actually sing the melody. It also has some speaking parts, which weren't in the original ballet."
The staging features full scenery, lighting and special effects run by a technical crew made up of fourth-grade students, Carr said.
"The students at Brookwood, it's something they look forward to," he said. "They know when they get into the fourth grade they're going to be in The Nutcracker"
Performances are free and held at 7 p.m. Tuesday and 9 and 9:40 a.m. Wednesday at Brookwood Elementary, 455 S. Old Belair Road. For more information, call 855-7596.
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