Berks Ballet Theatre presenting ‘The Nutcracker’ with Reading Pops Orchestra

The “Waltz of the Flowers” scene in Berks Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker.”

Berks Ballet Theatre will present “The Nutcracker” with the Reading Pops Orchestra on Saturday, Dec. 16, and Sunday, Dec. 17. The ballet company is bringing back two traditions this year — live music and special guest dancers.

Artistic Director Kelly Barber says the last the time the ballet company performed “The Nutcracker” with live music was back in 2014. “We always had it in the back of our minds that we wanted to go back to live music, so we got in touch with the Reading Pops. It happened really fast.”

So far, Barber said preparations are going well and she thinks the live music will make a nice addition for everyone involved.

“We think it will be good for our patrons and the dancers will love it too.”

Audra Nemirow is dancing the Dew Drop Fairy and Olivia Moyer is the Snow Queen. Guest dancers Ingrid Silva and Dylan Santos from the Dance Theatre of Harlem, NYC, will be dancing the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier.

“That’s kind of new,” Barber said about the guest dancers. “The past couple of years we’ve been using our own dancers, so we’re again going back to how we used to it in the past by bringing in guest professionals.”

This is the ballet company’s 41st production of the Nutcracker. Barber estimates about 75 people are involved in this year’s production, from dancers to children and parents, many of which reside in Exeter Township.

“It’s pretty much been in a staple in Reading for the past 40 years. It’s pretty great.”

Three performances of “The Nutcracker” by Berks Ballet Theatre are set be held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in West Reading; show times are Saturday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at <BerksBalletTheatre.com> or at the door on the day of the show.

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