"The Nutcracker" is often the usual Christmas classic, but locals know another story: "The Snow Queen."
California Contemporary Ballet will perform Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale of good prevailing over evil Dec. 17 to 19. The story tells of two best friends, Gerta and Kai, and Gerta's path to reach Kai after the Snow Queen places him under an evil spell.
"The Snow Queen" features a cast of 60 performers in a mix of classical ballet and contemporary dance. Dancers also take flight through aerial ballet.
Artistic director Erin Holt created original choreography for the fable 13 years ago, beginning with only the rhythms and melodies created by composer Randall Michael Tobin of Burbank. She makes minor adjustments each year, as her ballet transformed from an original youth ballet to a professional company tradition.
"For me, the reward is seeing all the dancers produce the story and seeing my choreography and how they interpret it," Holt said.