The Nutcracker by First State Ballet Theatre at The Grand Opera House
7pm Friday • 2pm and 7pm Saturday • 2pm Sunday
The choreographer is Russian.
The female lead is Japanese.
The male lead is Texan.
What binds them together and brings them to “Nutcracker?”
It’s the music, says dancer Rie Aoki. Whenever it’s heard, anywhere in the world, it leads people to Christmas.
So how can we talk about the Nutcracker, how can we talk about Christmas … without the music?
First State Ballet Theatre is Delaware’s professional ballet company, with studios inside The Grand Opera House on Market. Their 2018 “Nutcracker” stars Rie Aoki and Zane Winders, two dancers who could not have grown up further apart from each other. She was born and raised in Tochigi, Japan. He’s from Levelland, Texas. Both professional dancers (and both alums of the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., though they missed being classmates by one year), they will appear this weekend on the main stage of The Grand Opera House in four performances of the Christmas classic.
Here’s a truth that makes this year special: Tuesday Christmases are the best Christmases. We know things are always busy on Market, but there’s this entire weekend before the holiday arrives to run all the errands and to get that last bit of shopping done, and then still have time to slow down, to reflect, and to welcome the season.
Time. It’s one of the best gifts you can get this time of year.
This weekend, on Market, the Stahlbaums and their children Marie and Fritz are hosting their annual holiday party. The Mouse King is on the march. The Nutcracker is waiting in the wings. The lights go down. The music comes up. And suddenly, it’s Christmas.