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The Citadel Dance & Music Center presents “A Steamed Nutcracker”

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Citadel Dance & Music Center
Dance Department
91 Hinkley St
Benton Harbor Mi 49022


The Citadel Dance & Music Center proudly presents “A Steamed Nutcracker” December 16th, 2023 at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College. This steampunk twist on a holiday favorite has become a local tradition since its inception in 2015. This production features story and choreography by Director of Dance, Lari Lawrence-Gist with score by Peter Tchaikovsky performed by a professional orchestra directed by Steven Reed.

The story begins with a holiday ball held by the heroine, Sansa, inside her zeppelin. The party is attended by many of her friends, including her best friend, Cora, and a handsome soldier (Lawton) who, despite Cora’s best attempts to beguile him, falls in love with Sansa. The Seer and her Three Eyed Ravens fruitlessly try to warn Sansa of impending doom, but Sansa refuses to listen. The Seer shares the prophecy with Fiametta (Sansa sister) and by doing so, she sets in motion the very series of events she was trying to avoid. Guests depart and Sansa falls asleep with the events of the evening haunting her dreams. Her vivid dreams are a delicious visual treat for the audience and include unforgettable characters such as a flock
of Three Eyed Ravens, Timekeeping White Rabbits and Father Thyme. Blinded by jealousy, Cora returns to attack Sansa and The Seer’s prophesy is fulfilled. In the end, The Seer must decide if the best way to protect Sansa is by letting her go.

“A Steamed Nutcracker” will be danced by Citadel students and faculty, and includes many different genres of dance. “Sansa” will be danced by SJHS junior, Amelia Lifferth, “Cora” will be danced by SJHS junior Avery Valenti. TJ Nichols, a Countryside alumni, will return to dance the part of “Lawton”, and “Brammall” will be danced by Berrien Springs freshman, Titan Shaw. “The Seer” is played by Lari Lawrence-Gist. The full score, written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, will be played live by an orchestra of professional musicians from across the region and directed by Steven Reed. It is our special goal this season, to bring all Benton Harbor and St.Joseph elementary kids to the matinee performance. We would like to thank the Berrien Community Foundation, the Upton Foundation, the Schalon Foundation, and several private donors for their support.

Sansa’s Tea Party will be held in the North Lobby at 12:30 leading up to the Matinee performance. Attendees will have tea
and treats with the cast, receive a backstage tour, have photos taken with the cast, and have their fortune told by the Seer.
All ages are welcome. Free admission with the purchase of a matinee ticket.

Tickets are available at and range from $15-$30. Performances December 16th at 2 & 7 p.m.
Audiences of all ages will enjoy the varied treats offered in “A Steamed Nutcracker”

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