“The Nutcracker” battle scene. Courtesy of Maine State Ballet

Maine State Ballet kicks off the holiday season with six performances over two weekends of its classic production of “The Nutcracker” at Merrill Auditorium Friday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Dec. 5.

The ballet features the classic story of Clara, her Nutcracker Prince, and their magical journey to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Emma Davis returns to dance the role of Clara, with Agnes Norman debuting. Arie Eiten and Trevor Seymour again share the part of Nutcracker Prince. Julia Lopez and Adrienne Pelletier reprise as Sugar Plum Fairy, partnered by Michael Hamilton and Glenn Davis as Cavaliers. David Jon Timm plays the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer.

Choreography is by former New York City Ballet dancer and Artistic Director Linda MacArthur Miele, with three pieces by world-renowned choreographer George Balanchine. Associate Director Gail Csoboth designed the colorful costumes and scenery. Performers include over 25 company members and an additional 200 dancers of all ages.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ballet is adhering to all CDC safety recommendations and, to further mitigate exposure in the theater this year, organizers decided to forgo their live orchestra and chorus and will perform to recorded music.

Performances of “The Nutcracker” run two weekends – Friday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 27 at 2:00 pm; Sunday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $20 to $70, with discounts for children, seniors and groups and are available at mainestateballet.org, PortTIX  (207) 842-0800, and the Merrill Auditorium box office located on Myrtle Street in Portland.

Maine State Ballet is a nonprofit based in Falmouth. Its mission is to uplift the Maine community through dance education and performance. It includes the Maine State Ballet Company, its 175-seat Lopez Theater, and the School for the Performing Arts, with continuous instruction in ballet, tap, and jazz for over 100 years.

Comments are not available on this story.