Ukraine Ballet stars headline Ventura County Ballet’s 24th Annual Nutcracker

Zhan Mishel Panchuk and Hanna Chudinova share the stage with Ventura youths.

Zhan Mishel Panchuk and Hanna Chudinova, from Ukraine’s Kyiv Ballet, join 70 other dancers as Ventura County Ballet presents The Nutcracker. The curtain rises on Saturday, Dec. 3, with shows at 2:00 and 7:00 pm at Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center in Camarillo. The magic continues with shows Saturday, Dec. 10, at 3:00 pm and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 1:00 and 5:00 pm.

Ventura County Ballet’s The Nutcracker is the only production of this holiday classic in the Ojai/ Ventura/Oxnard/Camarillo area to feature internationally famous professional dancers, local pre-professional dancers and aspiring young dancers from its official school, Ballet Academy Ventura. Kathleen Noblin, founder/executive director of Ventura County Ballet, explains, “For 24 years we’ve brought our audiences the very best in ballet with top-notch dancers from around the world. “

Noblin adds, “We’re thrilled to return to the Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center. It’s an ideal venue for dance, and there is not a bad seat in this state-of-the-art theater.”

Three 17-year-old Ventura High School seniors Olivia Roman, Emma Steiner and Ella Ullrich share the featured roles of Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop and the Snow Queen. The part of Clara, on whom the story is centered, is shared by Hailey Hall, 15, Foothill Technology High School; Abigail Steiner, 15, Ventura High School; and Sylvie Watts, 13, Cabrillo Middle School.

Tickets, from $20 to $40, are available online at A complimentary Sugar Plum Cookie Party for children follows each matinee. Special rates are available for community groups of 10 or more. For group ticket information and purchases, please email [email protected] or call (805)765-1734.

Ventura County Ballet is also bringing excerpts from The Nutcracker to children and families at VCMC’s Pediatric Oncology Clinic and children served by the Ventura and Camarillo Boys and Girls Clubs.

Through scholarships and outreach, we bring dance to underserved children and families throughout our area.

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