Ventura County Ballet brings Nutcracker Ballet to local elementary students

Emma Steiner, 14, as Clara is menaced by Rat Queen Alyssia Troutman, 16 during a rehearsal.

Nearly 400 students from local elementary schools will get a lesson in music, dance and history all rolled into one when they attend a special performance of “The Nutcracker” by Ventura County Ballet on Friday, December 13, at Ventura College Performing Arts Center at 9:30 AM.

The interactive program features the full first act of the beloved holiday tradition, “The Nutcracker,” danced by more than 80 students of Ballet Academy Ventura, the official school of the Ventura County Ballet. The dancers, ranging in age from 6-16, will be accompanied by the Ventura College Symphony Orchestra, giving the young audience a chance to hear a live orchestra as well as see the dancers up close and personal. The sets and backdrops were hand-painted in Russia and are being used for the first time this year by Ventura County Ballet.

Brett Weidlich, globally-renown dancer and choreographer and current faculty member at Ballet Academy Ventura, will emcee the program, which includes opportunities for students to come on stage and even try out some ballet steps. Teachers from participating schools will receive study manuals in advance to round out the experience, which meets California curriculum standards.

Kathleen Noblin, Ventura Country Ballet Executive Director, explains, “It’s our mission to bring world-class ballet to the community and to bring the joy of dance to children who might otherwise not have the opportunity to experience it. We also hope to ignite a love of dance in young people that may one day serve as a springboard to a university dance program or dance company.”

Ventura County Ballet is presenting its 21st annual Nutcracker this year. Performances are on December 7 and 8 at 2:00 PM at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center and at Ventura College on December 13 at 7:00 PM, December 14 at 2 and 7:00 PM and December 15 at 2:00 PM. The Ventura College Symphony Orchestra accompanies all performances.

The Ventura County Ballet is a non-profit organization bringing world class, professional dance performances to our community. We provide top quality instruction to hundreds of young people as a springboard to universities and dance companies. Through scholarships and outreach, they bring the joy of dance to underserved children throughout our area.

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