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New Artistic Direction, New Act 1 Choreography, New Lighting and Set Design and a Cast of Over 80 Local and Professional Dancers With Morgan Broderick of LP as Claire, Harvey Runyon of LP as Fritz, and Gabrielle Patnode of SL – graduating senior/soloist
In this its 27th season, the North Country Ballet Ensemble’s Nutcracker will surprise audiences with many visually exciting new directions. The Lake Placid Center for the Arts welcomes the return of this Holiday Family Classic on Saturday, December 1st at 7:30 and Sunday, December 2nd at 1pm.
Alice Schonbek, recently appointed as Artistic Director, has commissioned a makeover of many aspects of the show. Totally new choreography for Act 1 makes for a refreshingly different Party Scene as well as a Battle Scene that will enchant and entertain. This is the work of resident choreographer Terpsie Toon, who joins professional guest choreographers Rebecca Kelly and Michela Boschetto on the NCBE creative team. Ms. Toon heads up the staff of the Lake Placid School of Ballet & Dance and danced professionally in New York for more than 20 years. Her wide and varied experience ranges from classical ballet to Broadway.
Also noteworthy this year is the unprecedented extent of community participation, with a cast of 70 local student dancers and 10 community members to entertain audiences.
Joining them will be a number of outstanding out of town professionals. Therese Wendler, a seven-year veteran of the NCBE Nutcracker and a principal dancer with Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, and Dances Patrelle, will dance the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy as well as the Queen of the North Winds in the Snow variation. Mikhail Ilyin, returning to the North Country for a second time will perform in the role of Cavalier. Ilyin, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, dances for American Ballet Theatre. He received his early training at the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy and danced with Boston Ballet before becoming a soloist with Miami City Ballet in 2001. He was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2003 and moved to ABT in 2008. In Lake Placid, Andres Neira, will return as the Cavalier, partnering Ms Wendler.
Morgan Broderick of Lake Placid will dance the role of Claire, while Harvey Runyon, also of Lake Placid, will perform as Fritz. We welcome back the magical Jason Borrie as Uncle Drosselmeyer. The NCBE graduates two seniors this season, Teagan Plimpton of Peru and Gabrielle Patnode of Saranac Lake. Ms Plimpton will dance the roles of North Wind in the Snow Scene, Candy Cane, Chinese, Arabian, and Dew Drop in Waltz of the Flowers. Ms. Patnode will perform as an Ice Maiden in the Snow Scene, Spanish Soloist, Arabian and Dew Drop in Waltz of the Flowers.
Erika Greyson, of the SUNY Plattsburgh Theater Department, will provide exciting new lighting design. Finally, the show’s visual appeal will be enhanced by a variety of new set features and props, designed and produced by a number of very committed community members.
Lake Placid Performances take place at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts located at 17 Algonquin Drive in Lake Placid on December 1st at 7:30 p.m. and December 2nd at 1p.m. Ticket prices are $12 children (ages 12 and under); $15 seniors and students, $18 adults. For reservations or ticket information, please call the LPCA at (518) 523-2512 or visit www.LakePlacidArts.org.