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Category Archives: News Story 2015

Cristian Bratu (Leicestershire Press) 2015

 

By Alexandru Bratu
The Leicestershire Press
December 15, 2015

 

[Leicester, England] – The spotlight is on young dancer Cristian Bratu as he looks ahead to taking on his most difficult role yet – a student aiming for life on centre stage.

“Sometimes I have a think about what life would be like if I didn’t choose ballet, but I am happy with my choices and where I am now.” Those were the words of an emerging dancer with the potential to reach amazing heights in the art of ballet, Cristi Bratu, who has recently ended his first term at the prestigious London Royal Ballet Upper School.

From humble upbringings, Cristi is a 16-year-old ballet student from Gartree in the Harborough district, a diamond in the rough unearthed by former Royal Ballet principal Graham Fletcher aged just eight, before joining the London Royal Ballet School aged 11 to polish off his skills and begin to develop into a more clear-cut performer.

In somewhat of a ‘rags to riches’ tale that is progressing soundly towards its happy ending, I ask Cristi to look to his future, and think about what he needs to do in order to complete a defining chapter in the story of his future career in ballet as he progresses through the first year at his new school.

“I need to increase my strength and confidence as a dancer; I can do this by working hard and motivating myself,” he begins, recalling the arduous journey to the stage he finds himself in at this present moment, “The standard is rising year by year. I have four appraisals every year that test all aspects of my dancing to see if I’m progressing or not, that will be tough.”

It becomes clear to me in the way he articulates his responses that this is a boy who knows exactly what he needs to do to realize his dreams, and there was no question as to whether he is motivated to face up to the unforgiving examinations. “I want to achieve things and be the best that I can be,” he continues, “auditioning for White Lodge, my teacher told me that you can’t win the lottery without entering and I’ve stood by that ever since. I use it to test my capabilities and see how far I can go. The end goal on stage keeps me and my enjoyment of it going.”

Cristian Bratu (Leicestershire Press) 2015-02Cristi hopes to one day emulate the achievements of renowned dancers such as Carlos Acosta and Graham Fletcher, and it is the latter, the very man who discovered his potential, who believes he can go all the way. Speaking in an article for the Harborough Mail, Fletcher offers a recollection of the moment Cristi revealed his potential: “I thought straight away: ‘Gosh this boy’s talented!’”

Fletcher discovered Cristi during his annual visit to Foxton Primary School, asking him amongst other potential young dancers to attend his after-school classes where the students would learn contemporary dance. From this, Cristi made the transition to ballet, a move that would determine his entire future, changing his life completely.

Fletcher is the main contributor to Cristi’s early development, and the young dancer feels he owes a lot to Fletcher’s guidance. “It’s exciting to think that I could one day become just as good as he was. It was my friend Graham who got me into this world and he is usually the first person I think of when something good happens, because I always want to make him proud.”

It’s a sentimental thought. The two often keep in contact, and Cristi has aided Fletcher in teaching summer school classes for other future dancers. And it is the future that Cristi continually looks to as he ventures towards his own destiny.

When asked about where he sees himself in years to come, he responds: “Hopefully in a company becoming a professional, I don’t imagine doing anything else.” A regular performer at the Royal Opera House during the Christmas period, it appears that a life on stage is one that he desires so greatly.

To cultivate the ability to move audiences and stir emotions with the elegance and poise which defines the art of ballet is the greatest task presented to a young performer. Whether it were to be warming hearts or moving pairs of eyes to tears, it is clear that the path to stardom is one to be walked on with pointed toes, aiming to jeté past any obstacles that stand in the way.

Standing centre stage as his future plays out, the spotlight is on Cristi. An audience of examiners, experts, family, friends, teachers and mentors look on with watchful eyes, anticipating whether the final curtain draws a close to a performance which warrants a continuation in the profession. In Cristi’s own words: “the challenge just gets greater.”

 

 

Read more about Cristian: A young dancer’s experience at RBS

 

 

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By Richard Ecke
Great Falls Tribune
September 14, 2015

 

Julian MacKay leaps in front of the Royal Opera House in London (Jordan Matter) 2015[Bozeman, Montana, USA] – Julian and Nicholas MacKay of Bozeman didn’t become accomplished ballet dancers by lounging around on a couch. Their work demands artistic interpretation, athletic prowess and continuous workouts and stretching to stem injuries. They push their bodies and limbs beyond the limits of comfort.

Julian, 17, has begun a year with the Royal Ballet company in London. He said in a Skype interview that he works out or practices until he gets a routine down pat. “I stay until it’s good,” Julian said. When he gets home to his apartment, he doesn’t really lounge. It’s more like a collapse. “You’re just lying there,” he said. “You can’t get up. Ballet is very physical. It’s almost gymnastic.”

Younger brother Nicholas, 14, has joined the Vaganova Academy ballet school in St. Petersburg, Russia. Dancing isn’t tough only on the toes, Nicholas pointed out. “Not just the feet, the whole body,” he said. “I have quite strong feet.” Yet it’s not a pain-free experience; feet get strained, and limbs ache. “You definitely have to love it,” Nicholas said.

He is enthralled by his new city in Russia. “It’s an amazing city,” Nicholas said of St. Petersburg in a telephone interview. “I love it. It feels European. So many museums. There’s so much history here.”

Nicholas and Julian, sons of Gregory and Teresa Khan MacKay of Bozeman, were pioneers as American male ballet students at the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow. Julian was the first American to attend the school to receive a full diploma, taking the same classes the Russian students did. Julian graduated in the spring.

Nicholas, who graduated from the Bolshoi Academy’s lower level in May after beginning school there at age 9, is a pioneer as well. “He’s the first American of his age ever accepted” at his new school, Gregory MacKay said. Nicholas traveled home briefly to Bozeman this summer, but Julian hasn’t been back to Bozeman for a year. “The boys have made history many times,” their father said. “I’m just kind of flabbergasted.”

“It’s quite a ride so far,” Julian said.

They’ve been assisted by generous sponsors from Big Sky, native Montanans Loren and Jill Bough, who have enabled the boys to pursue a dream of ballet stardom.

Nicholas said a fine Russian teacher suggested he try out for the academy in St. Petersburg; Nicholas was chosen after a highly competitive audition. Julian won a chance to perform with the ballet company in London by winning a competition in Switzerland, the Prix de Lausanne.

Julian is excited he will have a part as a Montague in “Romeo and Juliet,” as he will be able to swing a sword around. He took fencing when he was younger. Although the swords have blunt tips, they are heavy, so it pays to learn one’s moves to avoid an accident. A dancer wouldn’t get cut, but he could be pretty severely bruised by an errant sword.

“I get to be like a lord,” Julian said. “Some of the movements are quite complicated.”

He’s been in London about a month, but hasn’t done much sight-seeing. “I’m mainly in the studio (rehearsing),” Julian reported. The Royal Ballet has an amazing gym facility, says Julian, who added, “I’ve become much stronger. So far, it’s been a really great experience.”

Julian showed his mettle in August in China, where he finished third in an International Ballet and Choreography Competition featuring both Chinese and foreign dancers. “I was the only American to win a medal there,” he said. “I won third place, but the rest of the prizes went to Chinese dancers.”

He misses his mom and younger brother, who were all together in Moscow until the boys graduated.

Of his younger brother, Julian said graciously, “He’s definitely the most talented in the family.”

Both have had instances of deja vu in their new adventures in St. Petersburg and London.

When he was 10, Nicholas danced with members of the Mariinsky Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City in July 2011. He played one of the boys on a train in “Anna Karenina.” “Some of the boys (from that production) are in my class,” Nicholas said. “I played chess with them on the train.”

For that performance, “they weren’t going to pay me very much,” Nicholas added. But he already had learned Russian, so “I ended up translating for costume people,” Nicholas said. “They actually paid me extra for translating.”

In London, a principal dancer in the Royal Ballet company is a Russian, Natalia Osipova. As a younger student at the Bolshoi Academy, Julian got to appear onstage with Osipova in a production, but he was more interested in his stage prop. “I was the one holding the goat next to her,” Julian said. “I didn’t realize that she was such a prima ballerina.”

 

All four children in the family have chosen to become classical dancers; stepsisters Maria Sascha Khan dances with the Ekaterinburg State Ballet and Nadia Khan dances in Madrid with the Compania Nacional de Danza. Theresa is happy with all the children’s dancing successes, but she especially admires their growth as people living in exotic climes. “They seem to be able to speak to anyone,” she said admiringly. The boys have picked up many foreign languages, including difficult ones such as Russian.

In London, dance veteran Julian said he’s comfortable performing before crowds in gilded halls from China to Switzerland to England. “It doesn’t really matter who’s sitting there (in the audience),” said a confident Julian. He paused, though, when asked if it would make a difference if Queen Elizabeth II of England were in the audience in London. “I think I’d be a little bit nervous,” Julian said with a chuckle.

 

 

Read more about Nicholas and Julian:

Julian Mackay is one of the six winners of this year’s Prix de Lausanne (2-17-15)

Bozeman boys excel at Bolshoi Ballet Academy 11/24/14

Young American at the Bolshoi: Julian MacKay wins Sochi and Istanbul medals (external link)  7-13-14

Dancing with the Khan-MacKay family 12/31/13

US Mom proud of sons at the Bolshoi Academy  3/2012

David Hallberg with Julian and Nicholas MacKay     11/2011

Young American Dancers at the Bolshoi Theatre  10/2011

From Bozeman to Bolshoi to the big screen  6/2011

Montana dancer performs with Bolshoi   6/2011

What is it like to be an American at the Bolshoi Academy?   6/2011

12-year-old dancer aces first year at Bolshoi Ballet Academy   6/2010

Ask the Dancers: Young Americans in Russia Respond  6/2010

Young Americans Embrace Rigors of the Bolshoi  5/2010

Julian MacKay, 12, makes history with the Bolshoi   3/2010

Love of ballet brings Berlin’s best to Bozeman   3/2010

Young Dancer to Study at Bolshoi   10/2009

 

Thomas Dilley at Premiere DanceElite studio, Tuggerah. He started taking ballet seriously when he was 12 (Peter Clark) 2015

 

By Terry Collins
The Daily Telegraph
November 23, 2015

 

[New South Wales, Australia] – When he was five, Thomas Dilley started a dance class with his older sister. A year later, she left the class, but he kept on and now, the Bateau Bay 16-year-old is set to move to Melbourne to study fulltime with the Australian Ballet School.

Thomas will feature as one of just 51 selected artists from all over the state in this year’s Schools Spectacular on Friday and Saturday [November 27th & 28th 2015] ahead of his move to Melbourne early next year.

“Thomas was offered a scholarship to study with the Australian Ballet when he was 13, but at that time, we couldn’t relocate the entire family to Melbourne and we felt he was too young to live so far from home,” his mum Julie Dilley said. “But now the ballet school has a boarders’ residence for its students and we feel the time is right.”

Thomas, who studies via distance education, has applied for a scholarship, but will attend the school next year with or without one. “He will go even if we have to beg, borrow or steal the money to send him,” Mrs Dilley said. “Thomas only started to take ballet seriously when he was 12 after his teachers saw his potential and now it is his sole focus.”

Since his original scholarship offer, Thomas also excelled at the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition in New York last year, making it to the final 12 from a field of thousands. “He was offered several scholarships at that time to the US, Russia and Monaco, but he was too young at the time and we could not afford fares and accommodation for him,” Mrs Dilley said. “Even so, it was an amazing achievement.”

Thomas can’t wait to further his ballet experience. “I am so excited to be studying at a ballet school with such amazing teachers and facilities,” he said. “My ultimate goal is to join a well-known ballet company, either in Australia or overseas. To be paid to do something I love so much is my dream.”

Thomas looks well set on his path to a professional ballet career.

The young dancer, who trains at least six hours every day, will feature in an ensemble ballet piece and perform a contemporary solo piece at the Spectacular at Qantas Credit Union Arena in Sydney. The show was this year opened to distance education students and it will be his first Spectacular experience. “I’ve wanted to do it for so long, but never had the opportunity before,” he said.

It will be televised on Channel 9.

 

Copyright 2015 News Limited

 

Read more about Thomas: Thomas Dilley, 15, to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix

 

 

 

Euan Garrett, 12, is Billy Elliot (SWNS - RealFix) 2015

 

Realfix.com
December 7, 2015

 

[London, England] – A 12-year-old boy who prefers dancing to fighting has landed the leading role in the West End production of Billy Elliot. Euan Garrett had been a brown and white belt in karate, rugby player and runner before taking up ballet just one year ago. But he has now landed the lead role in the London West End production which is based on a boy who would rather be a dancer than a boxer.

The youngster from North Berwick, East Lothian, went through an intensive six months of training before finally taking to the stage at Victoria Palace Theatre last month.

Dad John Garrett, 51, said Euan had initially needed some convincing to take up ballet.

He said: “Euan only started dancing when he was seven, but as soon as he did, we all knew he was born to dance.

Euan Garrett, 12, on stage as Billy Elliot (SWNS - RealFix) 2015“We used to take him to rugby and karate, which he really enjoyed, and then he started a dance class at Law Primary School where he was a pupil. He really enjoyed it and after a few sessions, the teacher told us we ought to take him to professional dance classes because she could see talent. She recommended ballet, but Euan is a typical boy and at first, he said no – in his eyes that wasn’t cool.”

But in the months that followed, the youngster fell in love with dance, and decided to seek professional training. He was a dedicated pupil of Julie Friar at the Dunbar School of Dancing and repeatedly practised his audition routine with her.

She said: “As soon as Euan started dancing at my school I knew he had something special. Euan had a goal he wanted to achieve. It’s all about the work the pupils put in. It’s amazing one of my former students is now on the West End. I’m so proud of him. He’s a very talented young man and exceptionally hardworking.”

His mum Dawn Adam, 49, added that she is very proud of her Euan after landing a big role only a year after appearing in a local dance display.

She said: “Euan and Julie spent hours preparing for his final audition together. It’s scary to think this time last year he was performing in his local dance display and now he’s on London’s West End. We are so proud of him.”

Before landing his West End role, Euan was also a Scottish Ballet Junior associate, and performed in Lord of the Flies as well as Scottish Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker.

Speaking of his debut as Billy, Euan said: “It’s just amazing because it’s always been my dream role. I feel very special because only a few boys have played the part of Billy Elliot in London. I was just so excited when I found out I had got the role.”

The musical is based on the film Billy Elliot which was released in 2000. It is set in County Durham during the miners’ strike when Billy, a young boxer, discovers a love of ballet.

Euan is expected to play the role for at least a year.

 

Copyright © 2015 real fix.

 

 

Harris Beattie, 16, at the Phyllis Bedells Bursary Competition 2015

By Cheryl Livingstone
The Press and Journal
August 7, 2015

 

[Aberdeen, Scotland, UK] – At the young age of just 16, Harris Beattie has already made quite a name for himself.

He became a rising star in his home city of Aberdeen – and much further afield as well – after taking on the starring role in Billy Elliot – The Musical and earlier this year he was named joint winner of the Royal Academy of Dance (Rad) 2015 Phyllis Bedells bursary – having triumphed over dancers from around the world.

Former Cults Academy pupil Harris, who trains at Danscentre in Aberdeen, is now gearing up for another prestigious event, the Genee International Ballet Competition which will be held next month [September 2015] in London.

We caught up with Harris to speak about his career so far and what the future holds for him.

 

SO HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DANCING FOR?

Since I was eight I think. Now I do ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap but I’m focusing more on contemporary and ballet at the moment because that is what I want to go onto do.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTERESTED IN IT?

My brother Alistair went to ballet classes so I think I just got a bit jealous and wanted to do it because he was doing it. Alistair is 19 now and he’s over in Bucharest with the National Romanian Ballet.

When I first started ballet my classes were in Carnoustie, they were every weekend on a Saturday. I moved to Aberdeen and now I take all my classes at Danscentre on Hutcheon Street.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT AT FIRST?

I wasn’t too sure of it at first, I think I just grew to like it. When I was young, I liked it but I didn’t think of it as a career. But over the years I got more and more serious about it as I got older.

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT BALLET WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED?

I think I just liked the overall thing really.

DID YOU AND YOUR BROTHER PRACTICE TOGETHER?

Not really, I think he was a bit annoyed that I was doing it too. I have three brothers and one sister. We’re the only ones that do dancing though.

I remember doing one show where we just did the one dance and I was with my brother on stage. It was some sort of pirate dance.

Harris Beattie

WHAT ARE YOU LIKE BEFORE A SHOW?

I get a bit nervous but I’m excited more than anything. I just try and concentrate on pushing myself and doing better.

YOU APPEARED IN BILLY ELLIOT – THE MUSICAL. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?

I was there for two years training and doing the show. That was back in 2011 to 2013. I was in London for quite a while doing the show and training. We would go into training for about six months, we had class every day to basically build up stamina for the show and then after you did the show, after the first night, you just maintained that and having classes regularly.

It was a really good experience. It made me realise that I don’t want to do musical theatre, I want to go down the dancing route rather than acting.

HOW MUCH ACTING DID YOU HAVE TO DO FOR BILLY ELLIOT?

You are telling a story and you have to keep an element of what you are doing it for in your face and acting it out a bit. But you are really telling the story through dance.

DID YOU ENJOY ACTING AND DANCING?

It was quite good not to be yourself. You could just be someone else for a night and do a role that you liked and dance on stage.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE FILM?

Yeah I really liked it.

Harris Beattie Dancer's Own Variation

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE GENÉE INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION? WHY DID YOU WANT TO ENTER?

You can enter it yourself but you have to pass the exam first and get distinction in it to qualify for the competition. My teacher Karen Berry put me forward for it.

WHAT DOES THE COMPETITION INVOLVE?

For the competition you have to learn a classical 19th century ballet piece. They are quite well known so you can access the dance easily and you just have to learn that and also choreograph your own variation.

I’ve started my classical variation but I haven’t started my own one yet. I’m looking forward to choreographing.

I think it is good to show you can do something different and varied from the classical piece. It’s good to show diversity of how you can dance. It’s a great opportunity.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? IS BALLET GOING TO BE A CAREER FOR YOU? Yes definitely. I’m heading down to London in September [2015] to the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, so I’ll be studying for three years and then hopefully after that I will join a company either UK or abroad.

DO YOU FANCY TRAVELLING?

I think the more experience you can get travelling around the world adds to your knowledge of ballet.

 

© 2015 DC Thomson & Co, Ltd.

 

Read more about Harris:

Grandson of Scots entertainer Andy Stewart shines as Billy Elliot

Harris Beattie makes West End debut in Billy Elliott

Royal Ballet place for Harris Beattie

 

Jack Burns, 9, is a junior associates at the Scottish Ballet school (Greenock Telegraph)

 

Greenock Telegraph
October 15, 2015

 

[Greenock, Scotland, UK] – Greenock’s very own Billy Elliot is a step closer to realising his dance dream. Gifted Jack Burns is delighted after he won a place at Scottish Ballet’s prestigious junior associates school in Glasgow.

The nine-year-old, who lives on the Esplanade with parents Karen and Robert and little brother Rory, only joined the Elite Academy of Dance in Greenock in August, but seems set for big things.

Jack said: “I’m excited but it’s a bit scary as well. I don’t really know why I like ballet — it just feels good when I’m doing it.”

Jack also won through to the final 10 in auditions for the musical Billy Elliot in Newcastle and has been told to re-apply in February, once he honed his ballet skills.

The talented all-rounder juggles ballet classes with gymnastics, drama and football, as well as modelling.

Karen, 42, a bank nurse, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic and I’m over the moon for him. “He’s been doing gymnastics for 18 months at the City of Glasgow Gymnastics Club at Bellahouston and did an audition for Billy Elliott and was told when he gets more ballet experience to go back next year.

“He’s really got into ballet — he’s loving it.” Jack’s ballet teacher, Julie Gunn, said: “Jack’s got a lot of potential — and his gymnastics helps the ballet.” The youngster and his wee brother Rory, who’s seven, both attend St Columba’s School in Kilmacolm.

Both of them study drama at UK Theatre School in Glasgow and are also on the books of a Glasgow model agency.

Rory is also no stranger to his own spot in the limelight too. He landed a role in the hit time-travel series Outlander last year.

 

Copyright 2015 Newsquest Clyde & Forth Ltd

 

 

James Applewhite and Alicia Holloway in the Snow Pas De Deux from SNB's Peanutcracker - The Story in a Nutshell. (Mark Rauh, Rauh Photography) 2015

By Rosine Bena
Reno Gazette-Journal
December 22, 2015

 

[Reno, Nevada, USA] – This is the season of holiday tradition and Sierra Nevada Ballet celebrates by presenting annual performances of “The Peanutcracker – The Story in a Nutshell” in Reno and Carson City. This year’s production (which ran Dec. 4-15) featured James Applewhite as the Snow Prince/Russian Prince.

Applewhite is a tall, thin, handsome, elegant, African-American dancer well-suited to the title of “prince.” In fact, he said that growing up in middle school, he was affectionately given that nickname by his friends.

“Performing arts gave me the path to an education and helped me discover my personal light while showing me the path to sharing it with others.”

In his younger years, Applewhite was the only African-American in his elementary    school in Florida and found that he was not    fond of school and was not a very good     student. One teacher told him: “James, you     will never be on the honor roll.”

Then he attended a performing arts middle school in Florida and discovered dance. Students were required to take dance as an accepted part of education. At this institution Applewhite found that his grades began to go up and that he actually liked school. He continued on to a performing arts high school, developing a special aptitude for ballet. In 10th grade, he had great success performing in the Nutcracker and established a fine performance reputation at school, later graduating on the honor roll. “Performing arts gave me the path to an education and helped me discover my personal light while showing me the path to sharing it with others.”

Upon graduation from high school, Applewhite was offered scholarships to the best ballet schools in the world. He continued his ballet training at the JKO School of American Ballet Theater in New York and was then offered a professional contract with the National Ballet of Canada, the Orlando Ballet and later the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

James Applewhite as the Russian Prince from SNB's Peanutcracker - The Story in a Nutshell. (Mark Rauh, Rauh Photography) 2015

Applewhite’s path was not always easy. He found that he continuously fought against being stereotyped, not only as a male ballet dancer, but as an African-American ballet dancer. He discovered that those two labels conjured up a number of preconceived notions that had no relevance to his position in life. Many people were surprised to find that he was “a strong, straight, intelligent African-American man capable of supporting a woman in every way – on stage and off.” Applewhite is a gifted partner and, while he enjoys solo dancing, one of his greatest joys is dancing pas deux, a dance for a man and a woman.

When asked if he has advice for young male dancers interested in pursuing a career in ballet, Applewhite shares, “I do not feel in a position to offer any advice, as I consider myself on an individual path to self-discovery. But I will say that ballet was developed by a man, and that man was a king. Ballet elevates the soul. Anyone who has the opportunity to study ballet should feel fortunate and filled with gratitude. I personally find it an honor and privilege to study such a beautiful, elegant, regal, spiritual art form.”

In Applewhite’s opinion, all children should have the opportunity to learn the arts as part of their regular education. “The arts can help children in so many important ways. Ballet has taught me self-discipline, coordination, honesty, spirituality, a strong work ethic, how to work with others and how to relate to a mentor/teacher in order to absorb instruction without feeling insecure. It has given me self esteem and taught me to find my center, anatomically, emotionally and spiritually. These are things that we can all take with us throughout our lives.”

 

Copyright 2015 Reno Gazette-Journal

 

 

 

Koa Chun, far right, as Fritz in Boston Ballet's Nutcracker (Rosalie O’Connor, Boston Ballet) 2015

Submitted by the Boston Ballet
The Bedford Citizen
December 21, 2015

 

Koa Chun as Fritz in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker at the Boston Ballet (Boston Ballet)[Bedford, Massachusetts, USA] – Koa Chun, of Bedford is performing in Boston Ballet’s production of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker in the role of Fritz. Koa has been a student at Boston Ballet School for 4 years. He is in the 6th grade at John Glenn Middle School and has performed with the Boston Ballet School for 5 years.

The Nutcracker, a timeless holiday classic, will run through December 31, 2015 at the Boston Opera House.

Koa joins more than 200 other young students from around New England in The Nutcracker. Three different casts will take on various roles, such as toy soldiers, pages, reindeer, lambs, polichinelles, baby mice, and party children during Boston Ballet’s 42 performances of The Nutcracker.

Since its world premiere in 2012, Mikko Nissinen and Robert Perdziola’s entirely re-envisioned production, set in what many know as the Jane Austen era of the early 1800s, has gained record-breaking popularity. With more than 350 handmade costumes and a series of elaborate sets featuring extensive amounts of moving scenery, the production has transformed into a uniquely magical experience. This year’s production features all new lighting design by award-winning Finnish lighting designer Mikki Kunttu. Kunttu will bring a fresh, innovative perspective to this timeless holiday classic.

Students of Boston Ballet School in The Nutcracker were hailed by The Boston Globe as “adorable, focused and disciplined” handling serious pattern and partner work with “impressive aplomb.” All children performing in The Nutcracker are students of Boston Ballet School and coached by an experienced staff including Boston Ballet’s Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, Boston Ballet School’s Director Margaret Tracey, Ballet Mistress Melanie Atkins, and Boston Ballet School’s world-renowned faculty. Students have an exciting schedule through the months of October, November, and December, which includes rehearsals with company dancers, costume fittings, experiencing the unique, backstage atmosphere at The Boston Opera House, and numerous performances accompanied by Boston Ballet Orchestra and enthusiastic audiences.

Participating in a full-length ballet is an important performance opportunity for students, exposing them to aspects of ballet they don’t experience in a regular class. The students learn about the hard work and enjoyment that composes a live ballet performance, and have the unique opportunity to dance alongside Boston Ballet’s internationally acclaimed company dancers.

For a full synopsis and additional details, visit http://www.bostonballet.org/nutcracker/.

About Boston Ballet

Since 1963, Boston Ballet’s internationally acclaimed performances of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets, combined with a dedication to world class dance education and community initiative programs, have made the institution a leader in its field, with a 52-year history of promoting excellence and access to dance.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Max Hodges, the Company maintains a diverse repertoire, ranging from full-length ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers. Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.

Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to providing exceptional dance education and ballet training to students across three studios in Boston, Newton, and the North Shore. Led by Director Margaret Tracey, the School reaches more than 5,000 students (toddler to adult) each year through its four core programs: Children’s Program, Classical Ballet Program, Adult Dance Program, and Pre-Professional Program.

 

Copyright 2015 The Bedford Citizen

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