vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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“Twisted” version of Nutcracker comes to the stage

This weekend, the traditional performance of “The Nutcracker” won’t be much of a ballet. Shiny, tulle tutus and point shoes will instead meet onstage with belly dancers shimmying with swords, and girls flipping on mats and trampolines. In this “TwIsTeD!” version put on by the Stafford Dance Center, the surprises will keep on coming.

“My BFF and I shoot Nerf guns at Fritz,” Danielle Schroeder, 11, told me after Saturday’s dress rehearsal. “It’s really fun. It’s not really a ballet at all.”

About half of the show will be familiar, including some of the classic characters, but not all. “The rest of it changes every single year,” said Karen Wade, owner of the 4-year-old studio. Added to the show are life-size dolls from Mortal Kombat, a popular science fiction series of games and films. “It brings everybody more into the storyline,” Wade said.

The craziness for the staff started in October, as they held tryouts, added roles to the show, pinned and hemmed costumes and built sets. The chaotic season won’t end until after Saturday’s performances at Mountain View High School. Shows are at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 for a single show, $17 for both shows. Tickets cost $14 at the door. Call 540/659-6044 for more information.

I’ll have more in the paper later this week about what it takes to put on this annual show that now features 73 dancers of all ages.