If seven years constitute a tradition, the Palos Verdes Ballet has established one with its annual holiday "A Tale of the Nutcracker" performance to the music of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky.
Over the years, total attendance has been about 12,000, and the numbers will grow this weekend when the ballet--in which a child's Christmas toys come to life and dance--unfolds for five performances at the Norris Community Theatre.
Fay Gillette, founder-director of the ballet company, said the tradition was started with its first production--which was called "Nutcracker"--in December, 1981, at Rolling Hills High School. She said the company was formed specifically to present that ballet to the Palos Verdes Peninsula community.
"There was an overflow audience," she said. "It was our initial step."
Although the company frequently uses guest artists from other ballet groups in its productions, it is made up largely of students in the Rancho Palos Verdes dance school, which Gillette opened 20 years ago to develop local ballet talent.