Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida’s The Nutcracker

By Manuela Gabaldon

The Nutcracker may very well be the most popular holiday ballet spectacle in the world. The sound of Tchaikovsky’s popular score can instantly transport anyone who has grown up on the classic ballet into the fantastical winter wonderland they have seen time and again on stages all around the world. The Nutcracker, based on the book called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King written by E.T.A. Hoffman, tells the story of a young girl who receives a nutcracker for her Christmas Eve birthday celebration; the first scene opens on this snowy Christmas Eve as guests begin to arrive. However, it is not until after the guests have all left that our birthday girl, Clara, falls asleep with her beloved new toy in arms and is taken, along with the rest of us, into an incredible dreamland in which the little Nutcracker becomes her prince. Battle scenes, dancing sweets, the Sugarplum Fairy, and a spectacular Coda make this classic ballet a staple of the holiday season.

Under the artistic direction of renowned ballet master, Vladimir Issaev, Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida brings this tradition to Miami-Dade and Broward audiences of all ages each year with a production that features its incredible principle dancers and the young talents of its academy’s students. This year, Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida featured the professional talents of Yoshie Oshima, who has won several prestigious dance awards, as the Sugarplum Fairy, and Andrey Konkin as her Cavalier, in the second act. Although most people familiar with The Nutcracker know that the best dancing is saved for the second act, the detail that the first act of Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida is dedicated to the tiniest aspiring ballerinas and dancers, and includes performances by the students’ family and friends, makes this particular experience of the Nutcracker’s first act uniquely charming and family friendly. Its second act meets all expectations with the company’s principal dancers leading the most talented students in wonderful renditions of the Nutcracker’s classic scenes.

Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida is a company dedicated to making children’s dreams come true. Not only is their mission accomplished by their academy’s prestigious education to its students, but also by bringing their productions to life for audiences of all ages and abilities through regular performances as well as through their Ballet Goes to School and Dancing with Disabilities programs. Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida welcomes audiences to be a part of its continuing season that will feature productions of Chipolino, the story of a naughty green onion, in March of 2010, and its Spring Gala in May during which its professional dancers have an opportunity to perform excerpts from some of the best known ballets as well as some original compositions.

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