HICKORY - The Ann Freeman Dance Academy Performance Company, with special guest performers, will present Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at 3 p.m. Sunday  at P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University.

The “Nutcracker” is one of the most well-known ballets in the world, and has been performed by every major ballet company. The first act takes place in the real world, but by the second act you are transported to a magical kingdom of fanciful characters in the Land of Sweets and of course, The Nutcracker.

The role of the Cavalier will be performed by Gregg Poarch, a dancer and singer who lives in Morganton. Isa Blasdel will perform the Grand Pas De Duex with Poarch. Blasdel is a 2018 graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Local dancer Zoe Charles will perform the role of Clara. Zoe is a member of the Ann Freeman Dance Academy Performing Company. Talita Byrnes takes on the role of the Dew Drop Fairy. Talita studied dance in her native Brazil and performed with The Chicago Ballet Company before joining the Ann Freeman Dance Academy staff.

Max Charles will perform the role of Fritz, Clara’s brother. Devin Gibson will reprise his part of The Nutcracker, a cherished Christmas toy that comes to life in Clara’s dreams. Kara Sipe is the Sugar Plum Fairy, while Lindsey Smith takes on the role of the Rat King and L A. Freeman will portray Drosselmeyer.

Other featured company members will include Evy Blasdel and Savannah Edmisten as the Snow Queens. Madeline Edmisten and Maggie Gragg are the Marzipan. Brooke Huggins and Alyssabelle Lasecki are Toy Dolls. Claire Graham and Sarah Hollifield are the Spanish dancers. Austyn Lowman, Lillian Pitts, and Lindsey Smith will perform as the Arabians. Mother Ginger will be portrayed by Talita Byrnes.

More than $8,000 has been donated to several charities from the "Nutcracker" proceeds over the last 10 years.

Tickets are $15 and can be ordered by calling 828-324-6058 from 1-8 p.m. today or online at www.tututix.com/annfreemandanceacademy. Tickets will also be available at the door.

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