Owensboro Dance Theatre is waltzing into its 41st season, beginning with The German American Bank Nutcracker at 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
Based on the E.F. Hoffman tale Nutcracker and Mouse King, the production is brought to life with a full cast and magical, digital backgrounds.
Nora and Noel Janes, twins who will dance as lambs in the performance, said they have really enjoyed acting out a “real” story.
“It’s really fun,” Nora said.
Nora also said that they have been dancing for 5 years at Johnson’s Dance Studio, and that being in the Nutcracker is something they have waited all year to do.
“Our grandfather gave us the money last year,” Nora said of auditioning for this year’s performance.
The homeschooled 10-year-olds have enjoyed dancing with the full cast and being a part of the production, which they attended for the first time last year.
“I am enjoying having a dance to learn and show all of our hard work,” Noel said.
Ava Hyland, a homeschooled high school senior, will be dancing in two lead roles: Dewdrop in Waltz of the Flowers and the Snow Queen in Waltz of the Snowflakes, a role she is reprising. She is also part of the corps for U.S.A. Tap.
“I really enjoy sharing our love of dance with the community and doing what I love with friends,” she said.
Hyland has been in 10 Nutcracker performances and she still remembers her first role as a candy.
“I loved coming out of the oven,” she said of the of the scene in the Land of Sweets.
Now in her final year as a company member, Hyland said that while she loves the snow scene at the end of Act One, dancing as Dewdrop is her favorite.
“I love pointe and it is one of the dream roles,” she said.
With 189 performers, eight community members and five professional dancers in the two-cast show, audiences will find plenty of surprises.
“There is a new, magical bed that spins and is controlled by the dancers,” said Co-Artistic Director Natalie Lopez.
New costumes are also in several scenes and Mother Ginger, a traditional highlight of the show, finds Harry Pedigo, Executive Director of Daniel Pitino and St. Benedict’s shelters, filling the role.
“The entire thing will be really fun,” Nora said.
Tickets for the full performance are on sale at the RiverPark Center website or by calling the box office at 270-687-2770.