Join Westside for a Holiday Tea fundraiser held at 3 pm on both days, with proceeds benefiting Westside Ballet of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica College Foundation, and the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation. Nutcracker tickets: $35, Holiday Tea Fundraiser: $35 adults/$25 children 12 and under
WESTSIDE BALLET OF SANTA MONICA THE NUTCRACKER
Lavish costumes and exuberant choreography mesmerize audiences in Westside Ballet of Santa Monica's rendition of this holiday classic directed by Martine Harley. For their 40th year anniversary celebration, Westside partners with the live Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky's majestic score. Showcasing the most promising young dancers in Los Angeles, Westside's Nutcracker is a full-length ballet in two acts, with storyline based on E.T.A. Hoffman's "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King."
The artistic direction captures the spirit of choreographer George Balanchine, as passed on by Westside's founder Yvonne Mounsey, who created the Nutcracker role of Center Spanish during the peak of her career as principal dancer with New York City Ballet.
Visiting guest artists Jennifer Stahl and Luke Ingham appear as Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, courtesy of Helgi Tomasson, San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director.
Alternating performances with Ms. Stahl and Mr. Ingham will be Westside Ballet's Lucia Connolly and regular guest artist Evan Swenson. See www.westsideballet.com for artist dates.
Westside Ballet of Santa Monica annual holiday classic, The Nutcracker, features guest artists Joy Womack (Bolshoi Ballet) and Erin Rivera-Brennand as the glittering Sugar Plum Fairy. Womack began her training at Westside School of Ballet and recently became the first American female to be invited into the renowned Bolshoi Ballet Company.
The artistic direction closely follows that of George Balanchine's original version, passed on by the late and legendary Yvonne Mounsey. Ms Mounsey created the Nutcracker role of Center Spanish during the peak of her career as principal dancer with New York City Ballet, and later went on to form Westside Ballet of Santa Monica.
Based on E.T.A. Hoffman's
"Nutcracker and the King of Mice," Westside's
Nutcracker is the traditional, full-length
ballet, set to Tchaikovsky's majestic score,
with exuberant choreography and lavish costumes.
"Ours is very true to the story as is reflected in the music and the spirit," says Caprice Walker, Associate Artistic Director of Westside's Nutcracker. "We have all of the elements that
audiences look for -- the falling snow, a Christmas tree that grows, and that magical moment when the Polichinelle's pop out from under Mother Ginger's skirt."
Westside Ballet of Santa Monica draws its company from the affiliated Westside School of Ballet, featured in Point Magazine as one of 7 leading ballet schools in the country. Students have gone on to distinguished careers with top ballet companies, including New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and many more.
A Los Angeles family tradition since 1972, Westside Ballet (westsideballet.com) of Santa Monica's annual lavish production of The Nutcracker transports audiences to a magical world filled with peppermint candy and dancing snowflakes, set to Tchaikovsky's majestic score. From the moment the lights dim, the Victorian-style party scene to the glittering Sugar Plum Fairy entertain throughout the traditional full-length ballet. For 40 years, audiences have thrilled to Westside Ballet of Santa Monica's annual lavish production of The Nutcracker. From the moment the lights dim, Westside Ballet's The Nutcracker transports audiences to a magical world filled with peppermint candy and dancing snowflakes, set to Tchaikovsky's majestic score. It's the traditional full-length ballet, from the Victorian-style party scene to the glittering Sugar Plum Fairy.
Westside Ballet of Santa Monica draws its company from the affiliated Westside Ballet School, considered the premier ballet school in Los Angeles. Students have gone on to distinguished careers, receiving national and international recognition.
About Westside Ballet of Santa Monica Company - Westside Ballet of Santa Monica Company, a nonprofit organization, is one of the nation's premier ballet training companies. This pre-professional company was created by Yvonne Mounsey and Rosemary Valaire in 1970.
Westside Ballet's annual lavish full-length production of "The Nutcracker," showcases the most promising young dancers in Los Angeles. It's the story of Clara, a girl who receives a nutcracker for Christmas and is transported to a magical world of Sugarplum Fairies and villainous mice.
Brought to life by falling snow and a Christmas tree
that grows, Westside Ballet's Nutcracker is not only
the longest running production in Los Angeles
history – it's the closest to George Balanchine's
original version in quality, integrity, and
Special attention to costumes, choreography and characters come from the input of an esteemed faculty at Westside School of Ballet, located in Santa Monica.
Westside Ballet past Nutcracker productions have included Monique Meunier (New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater), Anna Liceica (American Ballet Theater), Martine Harley (Houston Ballet), Melissa Barak (New York City Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, Morphoses, the Wheeldon Company), Andrew Veyette (New York City Ballet), Frances Veyette (Pennsylvania Ballet), Kylee Kitchens (Pacific Northwest Ballet), Sarah Poss (Dutch National Ballet) and many more.
The company provides the promising young dancers of the Westside School of Ballet the performance opportunities that are so vital to their growth -- and makes dance more accessible to local children and families. Westside Ballet Company now comprises approximately 100 dancers, ages 8 to 18.
If you have to select just one Nutcracker ballet to
see this year, Westside Ballet production will be among the best.