Even after 17 years of the Nutcracker, former Braintree Ballet dancers return to watch the shows and say the performance has changed, evolved for the better, director Melissa Kelley Clark says.
"It's never the same show twice," Clark said in an interview marking the start of Nutcracker performance season, which for the Braintree Ballet Company began with rehearsals in September and concludes with three shows this weekend at East Middle School.
The company has always put on its show at East, and Clark said she likes keeping it in Braintree because 75 percent of her Nutcracker cast and the same percentage of her studio's students are from Braintree.
"We transform that place," Clark said. "We are an awesome alternative if people don't have the funds to go see big professional performances."
Yet the company's shows also feature professionals, and elaborate sets. Nutcracker features 55 dancers, 20 of whom come from the company itself. The others audition out of Clark's Dance Studio of Braintree, which has about 175 dancers at any time.
Most of the lead dancers grew up with the Nutcracker, Clark said. She tries to keep it fresh each year with new choreography and hand-made costumes, while staying true to its classical roots.
For info on the performances or to buy tickets visit www.braintreeballetcompany.com. You can also follow the company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Braintree-Ballet-Company/145484995487737?ref=ts&fref=ts.