"The Nutcracker" is an annual favorite among ballet schools and studios, as well as for audiences attending the shows, and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet will once again bring it to two stages in December.

CPYB will present the annual productions of "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker" at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg from Dec. 9 to 10 and at Hershey Theatre from Dec. 16 to 17.

“CPYB’s ‘George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker’ has become a tradition for generations of family and friends to celebrate the holidays,” said Darla Hoover, Balanchine Trust répétiteur. CPYB is the only regional ballet school licensed to perform Balanchine's version of "The Nutcracker" and was the first school to receive the license from the George Balanchine Trust in 1991.

A number of ballet dancers will get the chance to take on various roles, and among them are Gianna Horton-Sibble and Ethan Boresow. The two are hardly strangers to the annual production. In the years they've been at the Carlisle ballet school, they have played a number of supporting "Nutcracker" roles, including the party child, grandfather, mouse, Fritz and teenager. This year, the two will be the Sugarplum Fairy and Her Cavalier.

Along with new faces in familiar roles, CPYB also noted that each performance is a chance to see something new on stage.

“Year after year audiences are rediscovering the ballet’s many subtleties and finding new nuances. It’s thrilling to watch young children and adults alike become wonderfully engrossed in the happenings on stage,” Hoover said.

This year's performances will start at the Whitaker Center on Market Street in Harrisburg, with two shows on Saturday, Dec. 9, and a matinee show on Sunday, Dec. 10.

CPYB will once again present interactive Storytelling Through Movement programs about an hour before the three shows. The program is free and open to the public, and will take place in the Kunkle Gallery at the center.

The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra will join CPYB dancers for the Hershey Theatre productions on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17. Maestro Stuart Malina will conduct the live orchestra during the three shows in Hershey.

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