Experience the magic of The Nutcracker this Thanksgiving Weekend

The Nutcracker

Anchorage sixth graders star as Clara alongside Ballet West

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Anchorage dancers Siobhan Witty-Daugherty and Libby Jabaay have been performing in The Nutcracker since they squeaked together as baby mice in the first grade. Now 12 years old and in sixth grade, they have the special honor of sharing the iconic role of Clara, the young girl who receives a toy nutcracker for Christmas and goes on an adventure through the Land of Snow and Sweets.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of this cherished tradition, Anchorage Concert Association is bringing back the company that first performed The Nutcracker at the PAC – Ballet West.

Ballet West’s glorious production features fantastical sets, costumes, and special effects that leave audiences spellbound and cheering for more, accompanied by live music from the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and more than 80 local children coordinated by Alaska Dance Theatre. With Willam Christensen’s historic choreography and Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, many families will kick off the holiday season with this timeless classic.

The New York Times called Ballet West’s Nutcracker “the best in the United States.” The longest-running Nutcracker in the western hemisphere, Ballet West recently updated their production after a two-year, $3-million renovation with grand, colorful sets, polished props, and sparkling costumes, along with whimsical special effects.

ConocoPhillips Alaska sponsors The Nutcracker and supports a community dress rehearsal for clients of local social service organizations. More than 1,500 people will experience the magic of this treasured ballet for free thanks to support from ConocoPhillips.

The opportunity to star as Clara in The Nutcracker has been “unbelievable” says Libby and a “whirlwind,” adds Siobhan, but they are not nervous because when they dance, they are “doing what we love,” says Libby.

Both would like to dance as a career and appreciate the focus and discipline they get from dance. They consider ballet both a sport and an art and enjoy expressing themselves through movement. “I love The Nutcracker because it makes people in the audience happy,” says Siobhan.

The Nutcracker is such a magical show,” says Jason Hodges, executive director of Anchorage Concert Association. “We celebrate homegrown talent as they share the stage with world-class artists. This show is also a chance to silence your devices, forget your troubles, and be a kid again – if only for a few hours.”

Experience the joy and wonder of The Nutcracker with Ballet West, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in the Atwood Concert Hall at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. Presented by Anchorage Concert Association. Sponsored by ConocoPhillips Alaska and Anchorage Daily News. Tickets available at CenterTix box office (263-ARTS) and anchorageconcerts.org.

The Nutcracker by the numbers

  • 30 years Anchorage Concert Association has presented The Nutcracker at the PAC
  • 82 social service organizations invited to the community dress rehearsal
  • 1,500+ social service clients attending ConocoPhillips Community Dress Rehearsal for free
  • 87 Alaska dancers ages 8 to 17, including the iconic role of Clara (alongside 50 professional dancers with Ballet West)
  • 59 Alaska musicians with Anchorage Symphony Orchestra
  • 20+ Alaska stagehands working on The Nutcracker behind-the-scenes with 25 Ballet West artistic and production staff
  • 24 monolithic sets, more than 180 costumes, and nearly 200 props in Ballet West’s production
  • 806 Swarovski crystals on each tutu, hand-sewn with 16-yards of tulle. With 40-hours of work in every tutu, Ballet West Director of Costume Production David Heuvel estimates they are worth around $8,000 each.
  • 350+ Alaska volunteers who contribute their time to lobby activities, souvenirs and gifts, and ushering during the dress rehearsal and public performances
  • 10,000+ estimated total attendees at The Nutcracker presented by Anchorage Concert Association in 2019

Anchorage Concert Association and CenterTix box office are the only authorized sellers of tickets to this show.