The Asheville Ballet presents everyone's favorite holiday tradition, a spectacular professional production of the full original Nutcracker ballet from Imperial Russia interpreted and performed by Asheville’s own Ballet Company, directed by Ann Dunn. This family-friendly classic is proud to be in its 49th season of production at the Asheville Ballet. Image by Rose Pillmore.
Place: Diana Wortham Theatre at the
Wortham Center for the Performing Arts
Dates: December 13 & 14 at 7:30pm
and December 14 & 15 at 2:30pm
Tickets: Available through the Wortham Center
box office at 828-257-4530 or online.
The Asheville Ballet’s Nutcracker has been a holiday tradition in Asheville for almost half a century. Children and adults will be charmed yet again by ballet’s greatest classic. This all-time favorite story of Clara’s magical midnight trip to the Land of Sweets is classical ballet at its best. Snow will fall in the Snow Queen’s kingdom, scary rats will frighten and good soldiers will rescue Clara, the exquisite Sugar Plum Fairy and her handsome Cavalier will dance their eternally lovely pas de deux, and beautiful flowers will waltz, and waltz, and waltz.
There is an historical line behind our production, from Petipa and Vaganova in 19th century Russia, to their pupil and dancer George Balanchine in 20th century New York, to his pupil Ann Dunn in 21st century Asheville.
This year’s production features an exquisite new pas de deux for the Snow Queen and Snow King, and new choreography for Party Scene, Rats, Russian, Spanish, and Marzipan. The creative team that has built on original choreography by Marius Petipa and Ann Dunn includes Fleming Lomax, Allison Hertzberg, Tricia Renshaw, and Rebecca Miller Nohria.
We are most thrilled to feature Megan Jones Medford as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Lyle Laney as her Cavalier, Clara Zander as the Snow Queen, and Rhys Loggins as the Snow King.
“Asheville is so fortunate to have a resident ballet company of this caliber,” says Ann Dunn, Artistic Director. “The community has, essentially, a year-long resident repertoire company. Seasoned ballet fans and novices alike have the opportunity to watch consummate professionals perform a wide variety of roles, from classical to contemporary.”
A perfect opportunity for young people to encounter professional classical dance and a wonderful, traditional story, in a real theatrical experience.
Asheville Ballet has built a reputation on the belief that dance plays a vital role in the education and culture of the community. As a key component of its Educational Outreach Program, The Asheville Ballet will perform its entire production of the holiday classic The Nutcracker for school children on Thursday, December 12 at 9:00am. Seating at Diana Wortham Theatre is limited and is confirmed on a first come first served basis. Thanks to generous patronage, we are able to offer children’s tickets at $6 this year. This popular opportunity fills up quickly.
Asheville Ballet is North Carolina’s oldest non-profit ballet company. First incorporated in 1963, the company has created and presented work in Asheville every year since. In an average season, formal and educational outreach programming affects a culturally diverse audience of approximately 23,000 people. An active advisory panel and a strong, well-organized volunteer base assist a committed board.
Asheville Ballet has produced residencies by historical choreographers (Anna Sokolow, Douglas Dunn, Lori Bellilove), hosted master classes and workshops by international dance stars (Sean Curran, Mark Dendy, Chuck Davis, David Dorfman), produced the three-week Fall Into Dance festival, and commissioned both classical and contemporary choreography.
Asheville Ballet productions reflect the region’s varied interests. In addition to an ongoing relationship with The Biltmore Estate, work has been produced for fund-raisers (The Health Adventure, The Arts Council), civic events (Martin Luther King Day, Bele Chere Festival), and commercial events (The Dirty Dancing Festival, opening for the Pointer Sisters).
Since its inception, Asheville Ballet has produced both cutting edge interdisciplinary work and full-length major work. The company has collaborated with other local art agencies (the Asheville Symphony, Asheville Bravo Concerts, Asheville Community Theater, Asheville Lyric Opera), and has worked live with the area’s major musical, poetic, and visual artists.
In addition to promoting new work and a professional ballet company for our region, Asheville Ballet offers an annual lecture series on dance appreciation, in co-ordination with other local dance presenters, and generates educational articles on dance history and appreciation for national and local publications. The company has built a full library of dance-related materials.
Asheville Ballet’s commitment to supporting its professional adult members is evidenced by its challenging and stimulating performances, choreography, and teaching opportunities. The company also continues to nurture the careers of advanced youth members. Dancers who have worked with the ballet have performed with Alvin Ailey, Kirov Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Fort Worth Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Colorado Ballet, Hartford Ballet, Boston Ballet, Geneva Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba, and the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. Company dancers have appeared in Broadway musicals, Hollywood films, and have won titles all the way up to Miss and Mrs. America. They have also been accepted at the schools of the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Juilliard, Boston Ballet, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Robert Joffrey, and The Dance Conservatory at Purchase.
Asheville Ballet has created and found funding for scholarships for advanced dancers to pursue professional work in New York and Europe, and for underprivileged children to study dance in Asheville. The company has worked with Project Steam, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Helpmate, Elida Home, Presbyterian Home for Children, and local churches to locate and encourage new dancers and dance-appreciators. The Tix for Tots program makes hundreds of tickets available to introduce young people to the wonders of dance.
For more information call The Asheville Academy of Ballet at (828) 252-4761.