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Nutcracker returns to Rozsa Center

The Minnesota Ballet Company from Duluth is hard at work prepping for three showings of a Christmas classic this weekend at the Rozsa Center. Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoon will see The Nutcracker come to life with the help of Superior School of Dance and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.

Artistic Director Karl von Rabenau says that he intends to put a spin on the production by localizing it.

We are working on being very sensitive to other nationalities, and Nutcracker is based around that. So, what we are doing with our production is we’re making it local to the UP, to Duluth, to the Lake Superior area. Sailors, miners, lumberjacks, things of that nature.

While keeping the themes the same, sets will feature the city of Houghton and take place in a train station and other travel settings, rather than the comfort of a residential living room.

The troupe features roughly a dozen dancers, and von Rabenau says he is absolutely thrilled to be performing in front of live audiences again. He has been in town all week. The cast took the stage at the Rozsa for the first time on Wednesday. Von Rabenau says it’s a different experience performing on stage, compared to a studio. It is his first visit to the facility and he has nothing but good things to say about the theatre and the production crew. Much like a child anticipates Christmas morning, it is clear that all involved are excited for the curtain to raise beginning Friday night.

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