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The Nutcracker in Westport

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The Nutcracker at Westport Country Playhouse

 October 22, 2014 (NORWALK, Conn.) — Ballet Etudes Company (BEC)(www.balletetudescompany.com) announced the return of their time honored production of

The Nutcracker to the Westport Country Playhouse. Audiences will once again be transported to Clara’s dream world and enjoy this family-friendly classic, set to the music of Tchaikovsky.  Tickets are on sale now for BEC’s full-length performance on Saturdays, December 6 & 13, and Sunday, December 7, with show times of 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. There will be an accompanying Nutcracker boutique in the lobby, offering a range of related memorabilia for fans of all ages.

This year’s performance of The Nutcracker promises to deliver it’s usual magic with a cast of over ninety dancers — all of whom are members of the Ballet Etudes Company or students at The Studio Ballet School, with the exception of special artists. Visiting guests dancing the principal roles include Georgina Pazcoguin, Adrian Danchig-Waring and Charles Askegard of New York City Ballet and Sterling Baca of American Ballet Theatre. Mr. Baca returns to the Ballet Etudes production as the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cavalier, after having danced the role of the young Prince as a 15-year old student from New York’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onansis School (JKO).

The ballet’s storyline remains enchanting — Clara and her brother, Fritz, await the arrival of their mysterious uncle, Herr Drosselmeyer, who brings them gifts of a sword and Nutcracker Doll. Clara falls into a deep sleep, clutching the princely doll and when she awakes, the true holiday party begins. The Nutcracker morphs into a life-size Prince and becomes Clara’s protector. After the Prince’s triumphant battle with the Mouse King, the Angels lead Clara and the Prince through the Land of Snow into the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. It is there they are entertained by playful, exciting and exotic dancers from around the world.

“We aspire for our Nutcracker to be exceptional — to truly capture the beauty of both ballet and the season. Ballet Etudes Company is proud to bring local students and professionals back to the Westport Country Playhouse to celebrate this holiday tradition,” said Nanette Vallas, Director, Ballet Etudes Company & The Studio Ballet School.

Ballet Etudes Company is Fairfield County’s premiere performing company located at 509 Westport Avenue in Norwalk. Also housed at that location is The Studio Ballet School which offers instruction to dancers of all ages.

A non-profit, BEC has presented their Nutcracker production for fifteen years at the Playhouse. “We aim to bring a variety cultural experiences to local ballet enthusiasts and beyond,” said Vallas. Ballet Etudes usually presents two, distinct productions annually. In addition to Vallas, BEC’s artistic staff includes Resident Choreographer and Ballet Mistress, Christina Fagundes (formerly of American Ballet Theatre), Jennifer Tinsley Williams, Ballet Mistress (formerly of  New York City Ballet), and Stephanie Marini, Ballet Mistress (formerly of Boston Ballet).

In addition, the ballet organization has developed educational, audience development and outreach programs that have brought more than 15,000 area students, teachers and chaperones to the theater, many for the first time. For more information or to register for classes, visit  www.balletetudescompany.com or call (203) 810-4442.

Tickets for The Nutcracker ($40 for adults/$20 for children 15 & under) can be purchased through the Westport Country Playhouse’s box office at (203) 227-4177 or ordered online at www.westportplayhouse.org.

Photo caption: Ballet Etudes’ The Nutcracker returns to the Westport Country Playhouse on December 6-7 and 13 at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. For tickets call (203) 227-4177 or order online at www.westportplayhouse.org.


Photo credit: Beth Shepherd Peters