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Darien Arts Center Hosts 'Scenes From The Nutcracker'

"Nutcracker" at will be performed at the Darien Arts Center. Photo Credit: Photo credit: Diane Farrell
The Darien Arts Center stages an adaptation of "The Nutcracker" aimed at young audiences. Photo Credit: Photo credit: Diane Farrell
Juliette and Ty perform in "Nutcracker" at Darien Arts Center. Photo Credit: Photo credit: Diane Farrell
Meghan Wood dances in "Nutcracker" at Darien Arts Center. Photo Credit: Photo credit: Diane Farrell

DARIEN, Conn. -- The Nutcracker comes to life as the Darien Arts Center’s dance companies join to enchant audiences of all ages at their annual production, "Scenes from the Nutcracker."

This Tchaikovsky holiday classic is abbreviated to an hourlong narrated show, specifically geared for young audiences. Children get to sit up close and are invited to meet and greet the characters after the performance.

The show, a Darien favorite since 2002, provides an appealing introduction to attending dance performances for the younger set. “'The Nutcracker' was written for children,” says DAC dance director and show choreographer Bonnie Gombos, “It’s a fabulous adventure that also exposes audiences to different kinds of dancing, and it’s a great opportunity to spark an interest in dance. The original version is just a bit long for little ones, so we’ve adapted ‘Scenes from the Nutcracker’ keeping them in mind.”

This year’s production features new dances, characters and colorful costumes. Darienite and actor Geoff Gilbert stars as the narrator, a role created to move the story along quickly to accommodate the attention span of the youthful audiences. Current DAC ballet student, Eva Larino performs as Clara, who receives a magical Nutcracker doll for Christmas, and Ashley Cassetta and Juliette Dixon share the role of The Sugar Plum Fairy. The dances consist of members from the dance department’s junior, senior and adult companies.

Performances will be held at the DAC Weatherstone Studio at 2 Renshaw Road, behind Town Hall. Showtimes are Friday, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20, at 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 21, at noon and 3 p.m. Tickets are $10. Reservations are highly recommended, as performances sell out quickly for this popular annual tradition. Call the DAC box office at 203-655-5414 or email Bonnie@darienarts.org for reservations.

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