Kayla Rowser stars as Nashville Ballet puts local twist on classic holiday tale

Kayla Rowser will dance as the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nashville Nutcracker.

Kayla Rowser will dance as the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nashville Nutcracker.

Nashville Ballet returns with local holiday tradition, Nashville’s Nutcracker, for the ninth consecutive year with the Nashville Symphony through December 23, 2016, at TPAC’s Jackson Hall. Nashville’s Nutcracker weaves together the city’s vibrant history with one of the most beloved tales of all time for a Nashville holiday tradition unlike any other.

Ballerina Kayla Rowser, from Conyers, Ga. has been with Nashville Ballet since 2007. She once again brightens the stage during this annual local tradition. She may be considered our own version of Misty Copeland. She will star again this year as the Sugar Plum Fairy in some performances and as the Snow Queen in others. Be sure to check online to see which role she will be in before you buy your tickets. And get them now before they all sell out; they usually so well do in advance.

“Nashville’s Nutcracker was designed to be seen over and over again because you find little details in it each time that make it exciting and fresh,” Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO, said. “The story itself is magical as it is, but the addition of Nashville’s iconic characters and landmarks into the production guarantee that you’ll discover something new every year.”

Clara’s enchanted journey begins at the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville. Along with her Uncle Drosselmeyer, she meets a fascinating cast of characters from faraway lands. When she receives a magical wooden Nutcracker from Drosselmeyer for Christmas, the toy comes to life to lead her through a whimsical holiday dream—complete with the very characters she met at the Exposition. When the curtain closes on Clara asleep on the couch after her adventure, the audience is left to decide if it was real or just a dream.

Vasterling’s original concept and choreography is complemented by an entirely locally produced production, including the dancers, production crew, costumers and musicians. Along with 47 members of Nashville Ballet’s professional dance company and second company, Nashville’s Nutcracker will include a youth cast of 251 young dancers from School of Nashville Ballet and the community at large—the largest youth cast in the company’s history.

“Nashville’s Nutcracker simply wouldn’t be complete without the youth cast,” Vasterling said. “They bring a new, vibrant energy to each performance that’s contagious for both the performers and audience members. Giving the youth in our community an opportunity to perform in this holiday tradition adds to the magic of the season for them—and for us.”

Nashville’s Nutcracker is presented by Benefits, Inc. Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or on the official website at tpac.theatrenashville.com A complete performance schedule and more information can be found online.

Nashville’s Nutcracker has these remaining performances: December 10, at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m.; December 11, at 2 p.m.; December 16, at 7 p.m.; December 17, at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m.; December 18, at 2 p.m and at 7 p.m.; December 21, at 2 p.m.; December 22, at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m.; and on December 23, at 2 p.m.