The Charleston Ballet and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO) will together present Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”, on December 8 at 7:30 p.m. and December 9 at 2:00 p.m. at the Clay Center.

This year’s production marks the 15th anniversary of the two organizations’ partnership, a collaboration that has allowed hundreds of local musicians, dancers, and singers to share the stage for this timeless holiday classic.

This year’s performances will feature over seventy-five local dancers and guest artists from The Charleston Ballet (Kim Pauley, Artistic Director) and the Columbia Classical Ballet of South Carolina. Local artist Ted Brightwell will appear again as Mother Ginger, Brigette Madden will be dancing the role of Clara, and students from the American Academy Ballet will join the Charleston Ballet company.

“This collaboration provides such a unique experience for all the artists involved,” said Artistic Director Kim Pauley. “Our guest dancers are always surprised to see that our performances are with live music and rave about the quality of the orchestra.”

Maestro Robert Turizziani will conduct the West Virginia Symphony and Horace Mann Middle School Chorus will complete the cast, joining the dancers and musicians for the iconic “Dance of the Snowflakes”.

“The West Virginia Symphony is proud to once again collaborate with the Charleston Ballet to present The Nutcracker, said Joe Tackett, President of WVSO. “It is a holiday tradition that I share with my daughter and I am sure thousands of others will choose to build family memories by experiencing this holiday classic.”

Since 2002, hundreds of local musicians, dancers, and singers have taken part in The Nutcracker, and for many, it has become a treasured tradition. Chris and Karen Brinkley joined the production in 2011 and now live in Oklahoma. This year, they scheduled their trip back to Charleston in order to join the Nutcracker cast again. The unique partnership between the WVSO and Charleston Ballet has allowed their audiences to experience the magic of The Nutcracker with a live orchestra – the only such production in the state.

Tickets to The Nutcracker may be purchased through the Clay Center Box Office by phone at 304-561-3570 or online at www.theclaycenter.org. Tickets start at $24 for adults and $12 for children. The Nutcracker is made possible by the support of AEP, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, and WCHS-TV. For additional information, visit www.thecharlestonballet.com or www.wvsymphony.org