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Eugene Ballet to Bring Joy to Anchorage with THE NUTCRACKER This Weekend

Eugene Ballet to Bring Joy to Anchorage with THE NUTCRACKER This WeekendThe Anchorage Concert Association starts the holiday season for thousands of Alaskans when the curtain goes up on their presentation The Nutcracker, featuring Eugene Ballet Company Thanksgiving weekend in the Atwood Concert Hall.

An annual tradition for some families and an opportunity to introduce children and grandchildren to the Mouse King and Sugar Plum Fairy for the very first time for others, this fantastical masterpiece transports audiences to a magical wonderland.

Anchorage Symphony Orchestra performs the beloved Tchaikovsky score live, and more than 90 local dancers join Eugene Ballet on the mainstage, coordinated by Alaska Dance Theatre. Thirteen-year-old Liza Lebo, of Anchorage, plays the coveted role of Fritz, Clara's troublesome brother, in this year's production of The Nutcracker.

"I really like playing Fritz because his character is super mischievous and he's always creating trouble. This makes the acting part a lot of fun," says Lebo, a student at Romig Middle School.

ConocoPhillips Alaska sponsors The Nutcracker and also supports a community dress rehearsal for clients of social service agencies in Anchorage. More than 1,600 people are expected to journey to the Land of the Sweets this year for free thanks to support from ConocoPhillips. Agencies range from AK Child & Family to Anchorage Senior Center.

"This presentation of the Nutcracker offers young local dancers a unique chance to perform alongside professionals, while providing an opportunity to bring this classic holiday ballet to people who might otherwise never get to experience this tradition," said Portia Babcock, Director of Community Investment and Public Affairs for ConocoPhillips Alaska. "We are delighted to support this great community event and to welcome many Alaskans to the dress rehearsal."

The Anchorage Concert Association has presented The Nutcracker in Anchorage since 1989. "Dancers and attendees from years ago are now introducing the next generation - and the next - to this joyous, gorgeous show, creating memories and spreading holiday cheer throughout Anchorage," said Jason Hodges, executive director of the Anchorage Concert Association.

THE NUTCRACKER plays this Thanksgiving Weekend, Nov. 24-26, at Atwood Concert Hall. Anchorage's most enduring holiday tradition! The beautiful and elegant Eugene Ballet Company dances to live music from the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, alongside young Alaska dancers coordinated by Alaska Dance Theatre. Presented by the Anchorage Concert Association. Tickets start at $37 for adults and $22.50 for youth 18 and under, available at CenterTix box office and anchorageconcerts.org.

The Anchorage Concert Association is the largest arts and entertainment presenter in Alaska. With a mission to inspire and enhance community through the performing arts, the Anchorage Concert Association presents internationally acclaimed artists, from big Broadway musicals to indie bands. Learn more at anchorageconcerts.org.

Photo Credit: Kerry Tasker/Anchorage Concert Association

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