Newton, NC – Tchaikovsky’s beautiful and timeless music never fails to enchant audiences as it brings to life the classic holiday story of The Nutcracker, in which young Clara falls asleep and dreams of a dashing Nutcracker Prince who battles theHickory Ballet Presents The Nutcracker ferocious Rat King.

Hickory Ballet and Performing Arts (HBPA) students will present The Nutcracker ballet at the Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton in four performances December 9 – 11, along with a sensory-friendly performance on December 8 for children and families who would appreciate a slower paced presentation with no abrupt changes in lighting or special effects.

“For so many people, the holidays traditionally include an outing to see The Nutcracker ballet. This is the 11th year HBPA has staged this production and we couldn’t be more pleased to offer the ballet once again so that everyone has an opportunity to see this delightful ballet, experience its magic and create beautiful holiday memories,” says HBPA Executive Director Leanna Bodnar.

A grant from the Greater Hickory International Council has enabled HBPA to add a traditional Chinese dragon to the choreography of the Chinese dance in Act 2. New costumes were purchased, as well, to compliment the new design component. “We are grateful for the grant as it gives HBPA the opportunity to demonstrate cultural appreciation in the ballet,” Bodnar notes.

“We are also very excited to once again offer a special sensory-friendly performance,” says Bodnar. “We invite everyone to come out and enjoy this wonderful holiday experience featuring the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, mice, soldiers, and all of the delightful characters and music in this beloved ballet.”

Show times at The Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton are Friday, December 9, at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 10, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, December 11, at 3 p.m. Tickets are available through the Green Room at or at the door. Early purchase is encouraged as the popular ballet always sells out.

The sensory friendly performance is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 8. This performance is free to the public, but attendees must have a voucher to attend. Vouchers can be picked up at Pediatric Therapy Network, Therapy Source and Children’s Neurotherapy Service.

The Nutcracker is generously sponsored by Paramount Automotive Group of Hickory.

Hickory Ballet & Performing Arts is a nonprofit organization that offers a full schedule of classes and summer camps. Visit or call (828) 328-3794 for additional information. The studio is located at 116 3rd St. NW in downtown Hickory.