The Ridgefield School of Dance presents the Nutcracker Ballet on Dec. 17 at East Ridge Middle School

Celebrating its 20th year as a significant presence in the Ridgefield arts community, The Ridgefield School of Dance will present its annual Nutcracker Ballet at 1:30 on Sunday, Dec. 17th at East Ridge Middle School.

The Nutcracker Ballet is a seasonal and family favorite, ringing in the holidays with a wonderful story of a young girl's magical journey with a Nutcracker who comes to life as a soldier prince. The Nutcracker and Clara battle an army of mice led by the formidable Rat Queen with the help of toy soldiers, travel through a snowy forest and are guided by the Sugar Plum Fairy through the fantastical Land of Sweets, all set to the classic music of Tchaikovsky.  Based on the original Marius Petipa choreography with additional contributions by Ridgefield School of Dance artistic director Jessica Boelts the ballet remains fresh and new. “There is a reason that The Nutcracker is such a seasonal favorite,” says Ms. Boelts. “The characters are fun and fanciful, the music is memorable, and the story delightful. As brought to life by our remarkable dancers, The Nutcracker ballet is a joyful celebration of dance, music and the holidays. It is a performance our dancers look forward to dancing every year.”

Staged by Ms. Boelts, The Ridgefield School of Dance presents its students, from the youngest of ballerinas through its most seasoned Company dancers, as the traditional characters of the Nutcracker, including Bon Bons, the Marzipan, Angels, and revelers at a Victorian Holiday party. Dancing the role of Clara is Renee Cherry, a 5th grader at Farmingville Elementary. Ridgefield High School seniors and Company members Madison Rucolas and Mackenzie Whitelaw will dance the roles of Dew Drop and Arabian respectively, and Ms. Whitelaw will reprise her role as Queen Rat for the fourth time. Wilton High School senior Rachel Castaldi will perform the Spanish dance.  Performing as the Snow Queen is Julia Garrett of Ridgefield with Kyra Winslow as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Lily Meyler as Marzipan. Company members Eugenia Cashman, Sofia Garrett, Alexandra Magnusson, Ingrid Karlson, Ariana Mirfakhraie, Karina Rao, and Rebecca Ronai will dance the Waltz of the Snowflakes in addition to other classic parts.

Immediately following the Nutcracker, the jazz department will present Holiday Magic, a mix of original Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Musical Theatre choreography created by department instructors Stevi Van Meter, Michael Crawford, and Adea Sessoms.

The afternoon is a fun family event that welcomes in the holidays. For tickets go to TheRidgefieldSchoolofDance.com or contact the school at 203.894.5957.



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