One sure sign it is the holiday season is when The Nutcracker comes to the Northshore area. Bellevue-based Emerald Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker returns for its seventh season at the Northshore Performing Arts Center on December 7, 8, 14, and 15 at 2 p.m.
The EBT’s full-length production features exquisite costumes, lavish sets and splendid choreography in the Russian tradition. All performances feature the rousing Rainier Symphony Orchestra with David Waltman conducting.
Viktoria Titova appears as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Trained by masters of the Russian Vaganova style, Titova began touring with the Bolshoi Ballet Grigorovich Company at age 17, performing solo and ensemble roles on some of the world’s most famous stages. In the Northwest, she founded Emerald Ballet Theatre in 2007, after four seasons as artistic director for Ballet Bellevue, and has been EBT’s artistic director ever since.
Dancing the role of the Cavalier is Shane Tice, a Seattle native. He studied at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. He has danced professionally with the Minnesota Dance Theater, Smuin Ballet in San Francisco and Festival Ballet in Rhode Island.
Joining Titova and Tice are regional professional dancers and over 150 Emerald Ballet Academy (EBA) students ranging in age from 6-16, including 15 dancers who live in the Northshore area.
Those dancers are Daniel Chernyavskiy, Natan Lubow, and Nina Nemtchinov from Kenmore; Emeline Settlemyre, Isabelle Yuan, and Naomi Zang-Greene from Bothell; and Alden Clark, Sienna Clark, Julie Folting, Megan Hong, Ryan Hong, Sydney Hong, Aya Thygesen, Abbie Wilson, and McKenzie Wilson from Woodinville.
Megan Hong will share the role of little Clara with Kristina Snyder of Bellevue, while Emeline Settlemyre will play big Clara. Hong will dance the role the first weekend of performances.
Longtime EBA student Chloe Heninger of Preston has returned from a year at the Bolshoi and is understudying for the role of Sugar Plum Fairy. She will make her debut on December 14.
The ballet academy, based in Bellevue, is unique because while their pre-professional levels attract competitive students seeking rigorous and accelerated ballet training, the school also welcomes recreational dancers and children with therapeutic needs. "Part of the magic of EBT’s Nutcracker is seeing all our dancers perform on stage together, shining in their own special ways," said Sarah Jacobsen, EBT’s programming director.
Tickets are now on sale by calling (425) 984-2471 or visiting www.npacf.org. Prices are $20 for children under 17, $31.50 for seniors, and $35 for adults. The NPAC is located on the Bothell High School campus, 18125 – 92nd Ave. NE, Bothell.