'The Nutcracker' opens Thursday night at Music Hall

CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati holiday tradition returns Thursday night at Music Hall.

Opening night for "The Nutcracker" is also a homecoming -- it's the first time in 11 years that the tradition returns to Music Hall, according to the Cincinnati Ballet.

 

This year's performance marks another milestone: It's the first time in all 50 years of the Cincinnati Ballet's history that a black dancer will play Clara.

Salome Tregre, an eighth-grader at Walnut Hills Middle School, began dancing as a toddler. The first time she auditioned for the Cincinnati Ballet's annual production of "The Nutcracker," she said, she didn't make the list. The second time, she joined the ensemble and practiced as an understudy to that year's Clara.

"I thought, 'This is such a great role,'" she said. "I said, ‘Maybe I should shoot for it next year."

 

Now that she's landed the coveted spot, Tregre said she hopes she can inspire other young dancers like herself.

"I think it's a very big honor, and I'm really excited that it's happening," she said.

Performances run daily now through Dec. 24 (with the exception of Dec. 18, which has no shows). See a full schedule here. Information on purchasing tickets can be found here. Ticket prices start at $48.

WCPO reporter Kristen Swilley contributed to this report.

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