Debra Franco Preparatory School of Dance to perform “The Nutcracker”

Published 8:49 pm Friday, December 2, 2022

The Debra Franco Preparatory School of Dance is set to perform Tchaikovsky’s fairytale ballet “The Nutcracker” this weekend.

First performed in 1892, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, “The Nutcracker” ballet has since become a holiday tradition presented worldwide.

It has also become a tradition for Franco’s studio. Since the ’80s, her dancers have been performing “The Nutcracker” in alternating years.

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“I like doing ‘The Nutcracker’ because I like passing down traditional classical dances to the next generation. And I want to empower these young women to know the story and to know the dances the way they were originally set,” Franco said.

And while Franco’s production includes music from the original score and techniques of classical ballet, there have been a few tweaks.

“So all ages can enjoy the production, we have cut some of the music down, so it is not as long and we tell the story in more of a musical theater Broadway style,” she said.

This year, in addition to Franco’s students, Tony Newmann will perform a pas de deux with the Spanish, Arabian and Dew Drop Fairy dancers, and Vicksburg resident Kevin Arredondo will dance the pas de deux with the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy dancers.

Both Newmann and Arredondo are freelance dancers, each with different professional companies.

Playing the part of the Nutcracker in the production is Warren Central High School student Colby Solomon.

Franco said the story of “The Nutcracker” ballet is a Christmas story about Claire, a little girl whose godfather brings her a nutcracker on Christmas Eve. But it’s not just any ordinary nutcracker, she said

“This nutcracker has been enchanted and when the clock strikes midnight, all the magic begins,” Franco said.

For those interested in getting in on the magic, the Debra Franco Preparatory School of Dance performances of “The Nutcracker” will be held beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Parkside Playhouse Theatre, 101 Iowa Ave.

Tickets are $10 and are available by calling 601-954-6069.

Tickets will also be sold at the door, but Sunday’s matinee performance is already sold out; therefore, advance tickets are recommended.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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