Dance

A GLORIOUS NUTCRACKER IN GLENDALE

Media City Ballet, Natasha Middleton, Artistic Director, Choreographer and Director presented a new lavish production of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, featuring award-winning dancers, dazzling magical illusions, special effects and aerialists performing fetes of daring at the Alex Theater on December 9th.

Principal roles were portrayed by: Edgar Nikolyan (formerly of the Vienna State Opera Ballet and resident of Glendale) as The Nutcracker Prince; April Mcleod (of Glendale) as The Snow Queen and The Spanish Dancer; Courtney Croitori (of Santa Ana) as The Sugar Plum Fairy, Columbine and Icicle; Arsen Serobian (award-winning dancer and resident of North Hollywood) as The Snow King.

The ballet was presented in two acts, staged in the tradition of the renowned Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo featuring a cast of award-winning, classically trained local dancers. MCB’s production of The Nutcracker featured costuming by Chisato DuBose (of Media City Ballet) and Anna Leiker (of Woodbury University in Burbank), with sets designed by Bob Davies of Walt Disney Feature Animation and John Pomeroy of Universal Features Animation.

A perennial favorite ballet during the holiday season, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker was written in 1892. It is the story of a young girl’s dream brought to life. During a Christmas Eve party, Clara is given a wonderful toy Nutcracker doll by her godfather, the mysterious toymaker, Herr Drosselmeyer. In a fit of jealousy, her brother Fritz breaks the beloved doll and Herr Drosselmeyer repairs it as best he can. Clara finds herself distracted by the attention she receives from Herrr Drosselmeyer’s handsome nephew with whom she dances. Later, as Clara sleeps, she dreams of the party where Herr Drosselmeyer not only fixes her broken Nutcracker doll, but brings him to life. A battle ensues between the mice and the toy soldiers, in which her magic Nutcracker, aided by Clara, kills The Rat King. The heroic Nutcracker is then magically transformed into a Prince, who thanks Clara for saving his life.

In reward for her bravery, the Nutcracker Prince invites Clara to travel with him to the Land of Sweets and the Palace of the Sugar Plum Fairy. With the help of Herr Drosselmeyer, Clara and the Nutcracker Prince travel through The Land of Snow, and are introduced to The Snow Queen and King. They journey through the White Forest to the Land of Sweets, where a celebration is held in their honor. The parade of lovely dancers includes: Spanish Chocolate, Arabian Coffee, Chinese Tea, Dresden Dolls, a Russian Cossack, Mother Ginger and her Punchinellas, and Dew Drop and her Flower Petals. The Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince dance a glorious Grand Pas de Deux, after which Clara’s dream fades back into memory of the magical night.

Media City Ballet is under the guidance of Artistic Director Natasha Middleton. The Media City Ballet Company is dedicated to providing Los Angeles and the surrounding communities with quality live ballet productions, utilizing the inspired and creative talents of the local community, as well as professionals from around the world. Media City Ballet is the only ballet company in Los Angeles presenting performances in the tradition and philosophy of the legendary Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

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