BENNINGTON -- The Ballet Center at Manchester performance dates of The Nutcracker are on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. (Snowdate: Sunday, Dec. 15, at 5 p.m.) at The Bennington Center for the Arts. A second and third performance will be held on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 2:30 and at 7 p.m. (Snowdate: Sunday Dec. 22 at 2:30 and 7 p.m.) at Burr and Burton Academy’s Riley Center for the Arts.

Marilyn Cavallari, the Ballet Center’s artistic director, said the cast consists of children and adults from the Southern Vermont area. The lead of Clara will be danced on Dec. 14 and Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. by Julia Barclay, and Hannah Samuelson will dance the lead on Dec. 21 at 2:30 p.m. Both girls are from Manchester and attend Maple Street School. Clare’s brother Fritz is danced by Cale Tilley.

At the Christmas Party, Clara receives a very special gift from her uncle Herr Drosselmeyer, Mark Tashjian , Headmaster of BBA. Her gift is the Nutcracker Doll. Clara returned to the living room after the party and falls asleep only to find herself in The Land of Sweets. The lead dancers include the following; The Sugar Plum Fairy is Caroline Roberts on Dec 14, Carolyn Tobia on Dec. 21 at 2:30 and Lauren Miskovsky on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Spanish is Lauren Miskovsky, Tea is Thea Steeves-Boey, Arabian is Alice Cole, Flute is Carolyn Tobia, and Mother Ginger is Jeff Tilley.

There are dancing dolls, tiny mice, a fierce battle scene with a canon that shoots out cheese, The Nutcracker, Riley Vogel and the King Mouse, Sophie Jager, the Angels led by Ella Tashjian and the Snowflakes.

This is a favorite holiday event for children and adults alike. The music is by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. All seats are reserved. Ticket prices are $18 for Adults, students $12 and $8 for Children, 12 and under.

Tickets are available at the Manchester Mountain Goat, the Bennington Bookshop, or by calling 802-379-0759 or at the box office prior to the performance.