‘Nutcracker’ coming to New Ulm Saturday

Photo courtesy of Viktoria Davis Katharine Davis as the Porcelain Doll and Karl Davis as Party Boy.

NEW ULM — The Mankato Ballet Company is returning to the State Street Theater for two performances of the “The Nutcracker.”

The Nutcracker is a famous ballet about a Christmas nutcracker that comes to life to battle the Mouse King and takes a young girl to a fantastical land. Based on the famous Russian fairy tail that was adapted into a ballet by composer Pyotr Illyrich Tchaikovsky.

This is the second production the Mankato Ballet Company has brought to New Ulm. The State Street Theater hosted “Swan Lake” earlier this year. Nutcracker promises to be an even larger production with more performers.

Director Eryn Michlitsch said Mankato Ballet Company has been performing the Nutcracker for over 30 years. This will be her 10th time directing this ballet. After a decade of working on this ballet, Michlitsch said she has tweaked the production they way she wants it.

One of the reasons The Nutcracker is performed every year is it brings out the best in performers.

“The youth and even the older students love it and that makes for a good show,” Michlitsch said.

The dancer have been preparing for the show since August and September. The cast for this production is extensive and most are from the Mankato area, but some performers are from the Madelia with New Ulm connection.

Katharine and Karl Davis of Madelia will perform in the production along with their mother Viktoria Davis. The Davis clan is from Madelia, but they have strong connections to New Ulm through their church and other organizations.

Katharine, 15, will play a wind-up harlequin doll in the production, but will also have a second part in the Reed Flute scene. Karl will play a child in an early party scene as a member of the Russian Corps.

Viktoria will be playing a parent in the party scene.

Viktoria said dance was always a passion for her. This will be her 18th involvement with a Nutcracker production.

“I am happy my kids followed in my footsteps and have exceeded my abilities.”

This will be Katherine’s 11th Nutcracker production with Mankato Ballet. She started out as a mouse and has now become one of the soloists.

On of the fun aspects of The Nutcracker is every production has its own take on the story. There is no one set-in-stone version.

“One of the neat things about the Nutcracker performance is it different,” Viktoria said. “Everyone does something different. There is no standard choreography.”

Michlitsch said the costumes are open to different interpretation. For example, the Mankato Ballet will feature dancing snowflakes where other productions would have used dancing angels.

This year the Mankato Ballet Company will perform the Nutcracker a total of eight times. The first two productions will be here in New Ulm on Saturday.

The Mankato Ballet Company is delighted to once again bring ballet to New Ulm.

“We’re excited and honored to make it work,” Michlitsch said. The dancers are excited to travel to New Ulm. It is a great opportunity.”

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be dancing in New Ulm,” Vikotria said. “Our friends get a chance to see us. Its something they don’t normal see.”

Performances at State Street Theater will take place at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets for the performance are $20 adults, $15 students/seniors/military, and $12 for children ages 3-12. For further information, please contact statestreettheater@gmail.

com or 507-359-9990.