Dreams become reality in Nutcracker

100 local children will share the stage with the world’s greatest ballerinas and balletmasters for Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker Nov. 7 in Visalia


VISALIA – The magic of the Nutcracker transcends time and has danced through the minds of children for more than 200 Christmases. Little girls dream of being a ballerina on the grandest stages twirling to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. That dream will become a reality for a select group of young dancers next week in Visalia.

The Moscow Ballet will perform the Great Russian Nutcracker on Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Visalia Fox Theatre, where about 100 local children will perform side-by-side with the world’s greatest ballerinas and balletmasters. Moscow Ballet’s unique “Dance with Us” program provides an opportunity for an children to perform in roles created just for them and at varying skill levels. The young dancers were selected by audition directors earlier this fall to prepare them for the once in a lifetime experience.

Nutcracker performances featured Principal Dancers and Balletmasters of the highest caliber and hailing from the world’s top ballet schools. The western tour of the company features Balletmaster Vladimir Troschenko, an honors graduate from Vaganova Academy at Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. He is joined by ballerinas Nadia Pavlova, Bolshoi’s Ludmilla Seminyaka, and Galina Mezentseva of Mariinsky Ballet.

Even if you can’t dance with the ballerinas on stage, you can still get a photo with one. A Moscow Ballet photographer will be taking photos before, during intermission and after the show. The Fox is offering 20 patrons to pre-order a photo for $20. Photos can be downloaded within 72 hours of the performance at www.nutcracker.com/photo. Tickets for the Moscow Ballet show range from $20 to $175 and can be purchased at foxvisalia.org or at the box office, located at 300 W. Main St. in Visalia.

Averaging 100 performances during November and December, this phenomenon combines the highest caliber ballet with historic Russian theatrical traditions 10 foot tall playful puppets; 9 colorful and hand-painted backdrops created with a 3-D effect, and hundreds of exquisite costumes. Sets are designed by multi Academy-Award nominee Carl Sprague and include the opening promenade scene highlighting Moscow’s legendary St. Basil’s Cathedral and is considered a masterpiece of Orthodox art; the icy Snow Forest has sparkling crystalline snowflakes everywhere, which melt away in Act II to reveal Moscow Ballet’s signature “Land of Peace and Harmony” – a scene filled with exotic Firebirds, Unicorns, Tigers, and Lions who entertain Masha and Nutcracker Prince. New costumes designed by Arthur Oliver, include a dazzling cerulean and ivory bedazzled Ded Moroz, aka Father Christmas, and Snegurochka, aka Snow Maiden, highlight the traditional Russian folklore style and more.

Seeing Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is a Christmas tradition for families since the first North American tour in 1993. In addition to the popular Great Russian Nutcracker, company repertory includes classic ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and more. The company performs 100+ engagements annually across Canada and in most of the United States’ largest cities consistently receiving critical acclaim.

In addition to public performances, Moscow Ballet dedicates resources to community engagement programs. The 23 year Dance with Us program shares the Russian Vaganova ballet training with over 5000 American dance students annually bringing them on stage in ancillary roles to perform side-by-side with the professionals. Moscow Ballet’s partnerships with corporations and not-for-profit organizations such as the President’s Challenge Program and Children’s Hospitals, has raised significant revenue. For more information, visit www.moscowballet.com.

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