Literally millions of glittering crystals, 5,000 yards of tulle, and 8,000 yards of luxurious fabrics have been spun into spectacular costumes; 145 local dancers are training hard; guest artists are refining their roles; 34 musicians are tuning their instruments; 12 singers are warming up their voices; six tumblers are practicing their flips; and one lighting designer is planning his craft. All of this artistry will combine under the direction of Erich Yetter in the spectacular Peoria Ballet Nutcracker December 10 and 11 at the Peoria Civic Center Theater. It will be a dazzling holiday delight.

Every year, the Peoria Ballet’s production of Nutcracker is bigger and better, and this will be no exception. Yetter brings together the most amazing talent of 130 Peoria Ballet Academy students, 15 additional local dancers, and a few guest artists to present this cherished holiday story. Clara and her Nutcracker Prince go on an enchanted Christmas journey through crystalline snowflakes and Russian tumblers. Magical toy soldiers transform a shy young girl’s Christmas Eve into a riotous festival of light and color. This yuletide, treat the entire family to Peoria Ballet’s Nutcracker.

Jeanette Marie Hanley, leading artist with Milwaukee Ballet, will enchant you as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Hanley has danced with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, American Repertory Ballet, and the Hartford Ballet. Her repertoire includes principal roles in Giselle, Coppelia, The Sleeping Beauty, Anna Karenina, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, and The Moor’s Pavine.

The Cavalier will be brought to life by the brilliant David Havhannisyan, leading artist with Milwaukee Ballet. David was born in Armenia and began dancing at six. At age 10, he was accepted into the National Ballet School of Armenia on full scholarship. Hovhannisyan also has been a guest principal for Les Ballets Persans, Long Beach Ballet, Pasadena Civic Ballet, American National Ballet, West Coast Ballet, Ara and Lilia Dance Group, and Kalinin Dance Company. He danced principal roles in La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Diana and Acteon, Romeo and Juliet, and Paquita.

This year’s Clara is 12-year-old Regan Fairfield of Germantown Hills. She’s been dancing since age three, is in her fifth year at the Peoria Ballet Academy, and spent five weeks this summer at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Summer Intensive. This will be Fairfeld’s seventh Nutcracker.

Members of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of David Commanday, bring the wonderful Tchaikvosky score to life. There’s nothing more delightful than a ballet with live music rising from the orchestra pit. The Bradley University Women’s Choir once again will lend their beautiful voices to the Kingdom of Snow. Additionally, award-winning lighting designer James Clotfelter of New York will dazzle the audience with his work. This combination of music, voice, and dance is genuinely inspirational.

This glittering holiday treat is guaranteed to lift your heart and brighten your spirit. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m., December 10, and at 2 p.m., December 11, at the Peoria Civic Center. For more information, call 673-3200. AA!