Imagine Ballet Theater’s Locally Inspired ‘Nutcracker’ Opens Friday | News, Sports, Jobs


Image provided, Imagine Ballet Theater

Imagine Ballet Theater’s “Nutcracker” returns for its 15th year this Friday, December 11, 2021, for a period of seven shows. Tickets and more information are available at

Local version of Imagine Ballet Theater’s ‘The Nutcracker’, a 15-year holiday tradition in Ogden, returns to historic Egyptian Peery Theater in its original pre-pandemic form with seven-show airing starting this Friday until December 18.

It is a production “by the local community, for the local community,” Imagine Ballet Theater said in a press release. Ogden-based conductor Gabriel Gordon, founder of Ogden Camerata in 2021, who also debuted with Ballet West’s ‘The Nutcracker’ this year, makes his debut with IBT ‘The Nutcracker’, with local musicians from the New American Philharmonic. The cast members, ages 6 to 65, volunteers and stage aide all hail from “Upper Utah,” with guest dancers from the University of Utah: Loren Khan, Natalie Taylor , Caleb Hold and Samuel Johnson. The hand-painted backdrops featured in the Integral Ballet are by Northern Utah muralist and artist Sherry Ferrin.

The opening party scene, the magically oversized tree during the fight scene, the snowy landscape and the magical land of the Sugar Plum fairy are all illustrated by Ferrin, who incorporated real Ogden elements in the painted backdrops. The fireplace for the large party scene is from a historic Ogden house, and scenes outside the frosted windows depict a historic street in Ogden.

“To have such a locally inspired and created ‘The Nutcracker’ is in keeping with tradition, as the first ‘Nutcracker’ in the United States premiered in Salt Lake City and was choreographed by Ballet West founder William C. Christensen, ”IBT said.

The classic holiday ballet is based on ETA Hoffman’s story about a young girl named Clara who dreams of her Nutcracker Prince, a fierce battle with a Mouse King, and their travels together in magical candy land. Ogden’s ballet company, Imagine Ballet Theater, premiered its ‘The Nutcracker’ in 2007 with choreography by its artistic director and founder, Raymond Van Mason, who brings the ballet classic back to its original choreography this season after made several changes last year due to the pandemic.

Photo provided, Imagine Ballet Theater

Emily Pope will play Clara in this year’s Imagine Ballet Theater production “The Nutcracker” at Peery’s Egyptian Theater.

According to IBT, “Van Mason’s version of ‘The Nutcracker’ is closely tied to Clara’s story, putting her character in the spotlight as the story progresses. From the thrilling fight scene to the calm snow scene, then back to the excitement in Candy Land, Van Mason’s “The Nutcracker” keeps the energy and the dancers moving throughout this holiday story. classic and captivating.

This year Clara will be danced by IBT dancers Emily Pope and Anna Cloward, and the Sugar Plum Fairy will be danced by Tessa Parkinson and Sonya Kryzhanovsky.

The award-winning Imagine Ballet Theater is in residence at Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden. Van Mason created the company in 2004 to provide the company of dancers with the opportunity to work with professional artists and foster professional performing experiences.

Tickets for IBT’s “The Nutcracker” can be purchased at the Peery’s Egyptian Theater box office, 2415 Washington Blvd. in Ogden, online at or by phone at 801-689-8700 Monday to Friday from noon to 6 p.m.

For more information on Imagine Ballet Theater and its upcoming performances and other dance opportunities, visit

Photo provided, Imagine Ballet Theater

Anna Cloward will perform in Imagine Ballet Theater’s 2021 production of “The Nutcracker” at Peery’s Egyptian Theater.


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