During a holiday season that is being tempered by grim economic concerns, Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, "The Little Match Girl," touched the heart of Burbank choreographer Natasha Middleton.
As the artistic director of Media City Ballet, Middleton decided not to produce "The Nutcracker" and began choreographing a new ballet based on "The Little Match Girl" and the musical "Scraps" for the Media City Youth Ballet. The show will be performed at 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Colony Theatre.
The ballet tells the story of a poor girl who tries to sell matches on the streets of Victorian London. She is freezing but afraid to go home because she fears her father will beat her.
Meanwhile, the city is bustling with activity, including pub girls dancing, two spinsters thumping their Bibles and excoriating the "sinners," and the rich, mean girls parading in their finery.
The match girl takes shelter under a bridge and lights matches to warm herself. She sees several visions including a shooting star and remembers that such a falling star means someone has died and is going into heaven. Freezing, she sees a vision of her mother and they ascend.