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Two North Shore residents will appear in this year's performances of "The Nutcracker" at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center in December. Lilian Sterling of Two Harbors (right) plays the mischievous character Madeleine.

ARTS NEWS: North Shore dancers

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When the Minnesota Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker" brings alive Manhattan in the early 1900's, the cast will include two North Shore students training at the School of the Minnesota Ballet.

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Appearing Dec. 9 and 11 as Madeleine and Dec. 10 as a Spanish dancer and in "Waltz of the Snowflakes" is Lillian Sterling, a Two Harbors resident and ninth-grader at Marshall School in Duluth. Appearing in the opening scene is Caitlin Martinsen, a Silver Bay resident.

Conceived and choreographed by Allen Fields, the ballet's artistic director emeritus, the production features the party scene in an opulent townhouse overlooking Central Park; the snow scene in the glittery park itself, led by the Ice Fairy; and a magical journey to exotic lands of Asian, Spanish, and Russian dancers, led by the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10 and 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Symphony Hall. The University of Minnesota Duluth Festival Orchestra will play the Tchaikovsky score live. Tickets are $20-42 for adults, $15-32 for students, and $13-27 for children 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the DECC ticket office and at all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information, visit www.minnesotaballet.org; to arrange for special-rate tickets for groups as small as ten, call the Ballet, (218) 529-3742.

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