Photo provided courtesy of Houston Ballet Melissa Hough and Simon Ball dance The Nutcracker
There's giant mice, a King Rat, toy soldiers that come to life, and Clara who seems a nice enough young girl whirled into a wild post-party night when magic and Tchaikovsky's music take over the evening's events. Yes it's time once again for Houston Ballet's annual offering of The Nutcracker.
Houston Ballet Principal Dancer Simon Ball has been doing The Nutcracker for 30 years now. Initially recruited by his-ballet-lessons-taking sister to fill out the ranks of little soldiers in the party scene, Ball says he discovered he loved the energy of the ballet. "And I made a career of it."
This year Ball will reprise his role as the Nutcracker Prince which means he's in Act 1 and II, pairing with the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy. "That's a definite challenge, but I do like that we have a character who appears throughout the ballet," he says. He will also dance the role of the mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer who presents Clara with the doll in the first place.