Photos provided by the Canton Ballet
Mark your calendars for December 7-9
The Canton Ballet’s annual performance of “The Nutcracker” once again will feature a member of the New York City Ballet.
Sterling Hyltin, who has been a principal dancer with the New York company since 2007, will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy alongside 300 students from the local ballet program.
“Nutcracker is always such an exciting time for any ballet studio around the world,” she said, “and it’s wonderful to share in that spirit with Canton Ballet.”
Hyltin’s connection to Canton comes from her childhood dance studio in Dallas. Cassandra Crowley, artistic and executive director of the Canton Ballet, knows Hyltin’s former ballet teachers.
“It’s really exciting for the audience because she (Sterling) is so beautiful and obviously does things that we can’t do, so it just really elevates the whole production,” Crowley said.
This year’s performances of “The Nutcracker” will feature all the Canton Ballet students age 5 and older, who began rehearsing for the ballet in early November. While the school in the past has performed different ballets at Christmastime, “The Nutcracker” is best, Crowley said, because of the enthusiasm it garners from the audience.
“The Nutcracker” is set to a score by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky and tells the story of a little girl who receives a wooden nutcracker as a gift. The toy comes to life and eventually transforms into a prince, and the little girl and the prince are transported to the Land of Sweets, where they are welcomed by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Hyltin said her favorite part about dancing the well-known role is the beautiful music. While most people only want to listen to that particular Tschaikovsky selection during the holidays, she said she’d happily listen year-round.
And besides the music, there’s one more thing that keeps drawing her back to Canton. “My side bonus is receiving a box of Ben Heggy’s chocolate,” Hyltin said. “That’s the best box of candy in the world!”
“The Nutcracker” runs December 7 to 9 at the Canton Palace Theatre. Tickets start at $21 for adults.