Break the Barriers spreads Christmas spirit with 8th annual 'A Nutcracker Like No Other'

The show will include ballet, hip hop, contemporary, gymnastics, acrobatics and aerial silk.

ByAmanda Aguilar and Amanda Aguilar via KFSN logo
Saturday, December 3, 2022 1:03AM
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The magic of the Nutcracker will soon be felt in Fresno.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The magic of the Nutcracker will soon be felt in Fresno.

Break the Barriers, a non-profit in northeast Fresno, is celebrating its eighth year of the winter production.

"A Nutcracker Like No Other" is just that -- a performance like no other, and one you don't want to miss.

The story of Clara and her magical journey with her beloved Nutcracker-turned-prince is brought to life with performers from Break the Barriers. The organization celebrates children and adults of all abilities.

The holiday performance puts the spotlight on inclusivity.

"We have little ones in wheelchairs. We have adults with Down syndrome," shared performing arts director Alicia Vigilia. "They just weren't given the time of day at other studios, or they wouldn't be because, mainly, ballet looks for the most perfect, the longest most beautiful lines. Here, we look for the most passion and the biggest hearts, and they usually steal the show anyway."

Aside from the extravagant costumes and elaborate movements, Break the Barriers is showcasing different types of performing arts. The show will include ballet, hip hop, contemporary, gymnastics, acrobatics and aerial silk.

There will also be real fencing during the performance's famous battle scene with The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.

The show has been months in the making, with practices starting after the Spring recital.

The performing arts director describes it as a lot of chaos, but once those curtains go up, every performer gives it their all.

"Everyone is bursting with energy. It's so positive, so much fun," said Vigilia, who is also playing the Sugar Plum Fairy. "A lot of the kids have not been backstage for a show before, so they get to experience that - put on their really pretty costumes, get on the stage and live a dream."

While "A Nutcracker Like No Other" is a fundraiser for the organization, they also use it as outreach by giving local school districts tickets, so students can experience a performing arts production.

"Seeing a show with all the lights, the costumes, telling stories and the athleticism on the stage is just really inspiring," Vigilia said.

Break the Barriers will put on its annual performance on Saturday, December 2 at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Roosevelt High School in Southeast Fresno.

Tickets for the performance are $18, and can be purchased online until December 3.