“The Petite Nutcracker has become a lovely holiday tradition that many of our patrons fondly look forward to each year. Hosting it gives the Library an opportunity to introduce The Nutcracker ballet to many who may not get to experience the full show,” explains Elyse Jones, Pikes Peak Library District’s Community Partnership Coordinator.
“We’re happy to partner with Pikes Peak Library District in creating a quality arts experience in our community,” shares Dex Honea, Executive Director and School Principal of Colorado Ballet Society.
“The performing arts expand children's view of the world,” adds Kate Walsh Honea, Artistic Director of Colorado Ballet Society. “As the new Directors of Colorado Ballet Society, it’s vital to Dex and me to continue our studio’s long-standing tradition of participating in local outreach.”
“We aim to continue to entertain, educate, and inspire our community to participate in dance whether it be as a student or a passionate audience member at local performances,” says Honea.
CBS began performing the Petite Nutcracker in 2012 to provide the Briargate community with Christmas delight during Thanksgiving weekend at the Chapel Hills Mall. In 2017, they took the production on tour, performing at local venues, including schools, libraries, churches, and retirement homes. They’ve exclusively collaborated with Library 21c every year since, except for last year—due to the pandemic.
“We’re thrilled to return to the Library with this fun production!” declares Patricia Hoffman, founder and Director Emeritus of Colorado Ballet Society and choreographer of the Petite Nutcracker. “It is traditionally a performance that our community, families, and dancers love. You can see the students’ excitement for this production and joy for dance grow during rehearsals.”
Twenty dancers from the Colorado Youth Ballet, CBS’s resident ballet company, will present a twenty-minute version of The Nutcracker ballet, including shortened versions of the Party Scene, the Battle Scene, and the Land of the Sweets. It allows audiences to experience the magic of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic in a condensed amount of time, making this performance ideal for children of all ages.
"Petite Nutcracker is not only the perfect way to introduce The Nutcracker to young children, but it is also a great way to give back to the Colorado Springs community," affirms Walsh Honea.
A portion of the proceeds from the Petite Nutcracker will go to Care and Share. As a food bank, Care and Share works to gather and sort food from multiple sources, distributing to their network of 282 partners in 31 counties across Southern Colorado. They make sure nutritious food gets in the hands of everyone who needs it—wherever they are. Not only does Care and Share provide food, but they also offer partnering opportunities and education to fight hunger and food insecurity in Southern Colorado communities.
“We wanted to give back to a non-profit organization that we feel would benefit from the donated proceeds,” explains Honea. “As a result of the pandemic, more families in Southern Colorado were at risk of facing hunger. Care and Share worked hard to feed our community and, without question, we decided to support them in return.”
“At Care and Share Food Bank, we believe no one should go hungry,” shares Joanna Wise, Care and Share Marketing Director. “Last year, we provided more than 25 million pounds of food to more than 200,000 neighbors across Southern Colorado. We wouldn’t be able to do that without the generous support and partnerships we have throughout our community—our partner organizations, volunteers, and donors make it all possible.”
“It means so much to us to have community outreach like the Petite Nutcracker performance. Care and Share is part of the community, and we believe we belong to the community,” continues Wise. “Every $1 donated makes a difference. For $1, we are able to provide 6 meals to our neighbors in need.”
“With Care and Share as the much-deserving recipient of the proceeds from the performances, we hope that El Paso County residents make their way to Library 21c to join us in celebrating the work the food bank has done for the community during the pandemic and celebrate having Colorado Ballet Society back at Pikes Peak Library District,” says Jones.
“It will be a joyful family experience to begin the holiday season,” confirms Walsh Honea.
Tickets for the Petite Nutcracker are available online at: https://www.danceinthesprings.com/tickets
If you’d like to further aid Care and Share, Wise adds, “There are so many ways people can get involved! We are always in need of more volunteers at our Distribution Center to help sort and pack food. You can also host a food drive on your own by collecting food donations in-person or virtually. We have all of that information and more on our website careandshare.org/get-involved.”
Figure 1: Sugar Plum Fairy in the Land of Sweets| PC: Ted Mehl of a Better Image Photography
Figure 2: Clara and the Nutcracker in Party Scene | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 3: Spanish Chocolate in the Land of Sweets | PC: Ted Mehl of a Better Image Photography
Figure 4: Arabian Coffee in the Land of Sweets | PC: Ted Mehl of a Better Image Photography
Figure 5: Candy Cane in the Land of Sweets | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 6: The Rat King in the Battle Scene | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 7: Chinese Cookies in the Land of Sweets | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 6: The Nutcracker Prince, Clara and Russian Tea Cake in the Land of Sweets | PC: Kayla Coburn