“The Nutcracker” ushers in holiday splendor with Elizabethton’s Mia Garbe as Clara

Published 9:09 am Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An Elizabethton sixth-grader dances the lead role in “The Nutcracker,” performed Dec. 18-20 by the City Youth Ballet of Johnson City, as she brings to stage an enchanting story of her journey on a Christmas Eve. The performance provides audiences with a show of classical ballet at its best.
Mia Garbe, a sixth grader at T.A. Dugger Middle School and the daughter of James and Theresa Garbe, was chosen earlier this year for the role. She has danced with the City Youth Ballet since her preschool days. This year’s performance is made even more special as Mia’s father, James, portrays Herr Drosselmeyer, Clara’s uncle.
City Youth Ballet’s rendition of this holiday classic is a family-friendly affair with dancers not only on stage, but also performing in the auditorium where they arrive at a Victorian era Christmas party. After the festive gala, Drosselmeyer bestows on Clara a Nutcracker doll that later comes to life. It battles ferocious mice backed by a corps of soldiers. Clara, now accompanied by her Nutcracker prince, continues her journey through a blizzard of dancing snowflakes and on to the Land of Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy orders up a feast of dances from around the world.
This year’s Sugar Plum Fairy role is shared by Sarah Ann Kenneson and Hannah Thigpen, both of Johnson City and students at Science Hill High School. Diamond LaGrave of Tallahassee, Florida, returns as the Cavalier and Snow King. This year, Darien and Tiffany Chancellor, professional ballroom dancers, appear in the Arabian dance with ballet choreography by Kassi White, a CYB instructor and associate director.
“Our performances appeal to the ballet lover as well as those who just enjoy a lively holiday story,” said Susan Pace-White, owner and artistic director of the City Youth Ballet. “This tradition has thrived for decades thanks to the hard work of these dancers as well as the loyalty of our audiences.”
Four performances are set for Dec. 18-19 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 19-20 at 2:30 p.m. at Milligan College’s Gregory Center. General admission tickets are on sale at Bear ‘n Friends Toy Shoppe on North Roan Street in the Peerless Center, Peace by Piece Studio Gallery, 127 Spring Street, in downtown Johnson City, (checks or cash only at outlets) or at the door. Adult tickets are $16; children 12 and under at $13. Doors open one-half hour before the performances.
For more information call the City Youth Ballet at 423-434-2195, visit us at www.cityyouthballet.org or find us on Facebook.

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