‘The Nutcracker’ Delight: Burke Civic Ballet
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‘The Nutcracker’ Delight: Burke Civic Ballet

Ballet dancer Michael Cherry, 16, of Springfield, plays roles of the Snow King, Spanish Lead and Ballet Doll.

Ballet dancer Michael Cherry, 16, of Springfield, plays roles of the Snow King, Spanish Lead and Ballet Doll. Photo contributed

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Burke Civic Ballet seniors with Artistic Director Buffa Hargett – Brooke Bentley, Emili Boyle, Maddie Fee, Alexa Hock, and Elbie Kaleb – star in “The Nutcracker.”

When & Where

Showtimes for ‘The Nutcracker’ are Saturday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $20/children and $28/adults. The venue is located at the Ernst Theater of Northern Virginia Community College, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. For organized groups (10+) and handicapped seating, email burkecivicballet@.... Call 703-425-5599 or visit www.buffas.com.

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Ballerina Gaby Mabalay, 15, of Springfield, plays the lead role of Clara.

The holidays wouldn’t be the same without The Burke Civic Ballet‘s presentation of “The Nutcracker,” on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17-18, 2018, at the Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale. It's the timeless story of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, the Mouse King, the Sugarplum Fairy, Uncle Drosselmeier who turns out to be a magician, and a series of famous dance routines (Arabian, French and Russian) set to iconic music by Tchaikovsky.

This local production features more than 90 dancers (ages 4 to adults from Burke, Springfield, and Fairfax), who will perform the scenes from the Stahlbaum House, the Snow Forest and the magical Kingdom of Sweets. The show also features two professional dancers with the Colorado Ballet: Yosvani Ramos and Sharon Wehner.

THE BURKE CIVIC BALLET COMPANY was founded 25 years ago by Buffa Hargett, Artistic Director, who runs her very own Buffa's Dance Studio at 9570-H Burke Road in Burke.

“’The Nutcracker’ is a magical experience. As a lifelong dancer, this time of year is incredibly special. It brings together all of what we’ve learned in class – what we’re portraying – to life for the audience. It ushers in the holiday time period and all that is magical and delightful about the holiday season. So, bringing to life the ballet and knowing what happens with the magic that Drosselmeier presents is an unbelievable experience for adults and children alike,” said Carla Cannonito of Springfield, who plays the Mother role.

She added: “I hope to entertain the audience but also to promote the arts because they are so very important in our children’s lives as well as adult lives today. And, there’s so many ways to participate – whether it’s costuming, whether it’s makeup, whether it’s dance itself. This is an incredible opportunity for us to express our creativity.”

GABY MABALAY, 15, of Springfield, who plays the lead role of Clara, added: “The production is a magical experience because you get to see Clara at the party and she falls asleep and she has a magical, enchanting journey. It’s really awesome to see the different ages, from the little ones who are 4 or 5, all the way to the professionals; so it’s a good way to get to see ‘The Nutcracker.’”

Michael Cherry, 16, of Springfield, who plays the triple role of Snow King, Spanish Lead and Ballet Doll, said: “It’s a show about Clara and how she’s in a dream and all the different places she goes through. She’s first at the party and then she’s in the battle, then she goes through the snow and wonderland. She gets to see all the different nationalities and countries.”

Brian Engler, who plays the father of Clara and Fritz, and has been supporting the ballet for 25 years since when his daughters were young, said the show contains many special effects, including the snowy woods scene with smoke, haze and fog, as well as a battle scene.

“So, 25 years ago when Buffa Hargett began the Burke Civic Ballet, the reason she did it was so that her dancers could see a full-stage production, rather than a recital. They actually see rehearsals on stage with curtains, sets, and a full production. I had danced as a younger person when they needed men in the shows and so I was in the first production and have been in the majority of the productions for 25 years. I’m very happy to be here playing different parts, but always the party scene,” he said.

Showtimes for ‘The Nutcracker’ are Saturday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $20/children and $28/adults; Ernst Theater of Northern Virginia Community College, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Call 703-425-5599 or visit www.buffas.com.