At the Ballet

The Nutcracker

Presented by the Georgia B. Lucas Foundation Fund
World Premiere of sets & costumes

Whether first-timer or seasoned fan, you're in for a fabulous treat with the 51st annual production of Austin's holiday tradition. This year, Artistic Director Stephen Mills brings you the beloved tale and his acclaimed choreography enhanced by the World Premiere of spectacular new sets and costume designs.

The vision that Mills brings to life each year is finally realized with this stunning show. The characters and moments you love are more colorful and enchanting than ever set against fabulously imaginative new backdrops. Be the first to see this decade-long labor of love come to fruition and continue the tradition.

Get Tickets Choreography by Stephen Mills
Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Live Accompaniment by the Austin
-Get Tickets Symphony Orchestra

Celebrate with us!

The Long Center
7:30pm | Dec 19, 20, 21, 22
2pm | Dec 21, 22, 23


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Want to engage socially? Use the hashtag #nutcrackeratx



Announcing our 2013 Celebrity Mother Gingers!

Dec 7 | 7:30pm Jeanie Tuttle

Librarian, Clayton Elementary School
Dec 8 | 2pm Terri McCormick

Morning Personality and Music Director of Majic 95.5, Entercom-Austin
 
Dec 13 | 7:30pm Matthew Earhart

AISD 2012/13 Teacher of the Year
Dec 14 | 2pm Col. Jeffery T. Harris

Chief of Staff, US Army Operational Test Command
 
Dec 14 | 7:30pm Russ Wilson

Business Unit Executive, Director Mobile Labs at IBM
Dec 15 | 2:00pm Taylor Ellison

Entertainment Reporter, KXAN News/The CW Austin
 
Dec 19 | 7:30pm Jake Silverstein

Editor in Chief, Texas Monthly
Dec 20 | 7:30pm Emily Moreland

Broker/Owner of Moreland Properties
 
Dec 21 | 2pm- Gilbert Tuhabonye

Coach, Gilbert's Gazelles
Dec 21 | 7:30pm Caroline Bull

Austin Fire Department Firefighter
 
Dec 22 | 2pm Major Applewhite

Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, University of Texas Football
Dec 22 | 7:30pm
Paul Hatch


CEO KNUU Investment Solutions
 
Dec 23 | 2pm - Kelly Breeden

In celebration of The Junior League of Austin's 80th Anniversary.



Take home a Nutcracker!

Limited Edition nutcrackers, designed exclusively for the Ballet Austin Guild, & signed by Artistic Director Stephen Mills. Click here to buy.

Reserve Your Very Own Nutcracker Suite:

Box seats now available.
Reserve today. >>


About


“With a score by Tchaikovsky, snappy choreography by Stephen Mills, and a theater full of folks decked out in their finest gear, you'll easily see why, for many, the holidays aren't complete without this experience."—Caitlin Moore, Austinist
 
Follow Clara’s adventures as she battles a giant Rat King and transforms her Nutcracker doll into a Prince. Together, they visit a magical land of dancing snowflakes, a Sugar Plum Fairy, and a celebration that takes her around the world in a single night.
 
The Long Center
Dec 7 - 23, 2013



Program Notes



Synopsis

The Nutcracker is an enchanting tale of holiday adventure that follows a girl’s voyage through a fantasy world of fairies, a Nutcracker Prince, toy soldiers, and an army of mice.
 
The journey begins at Clara’s home during her family’s Christmas Eve party. At the party, Clara receives a special gift of a wooden nutcracker from her mysterious godfather. After the guests depart and everyone is sound asleep, Clara sneaks back into the parlor to see her nutcracker once more. All of a sudden, she finds herself surrounded by a room full of fighting rats and soldiers. A battle ensues, and in the end Clara’s nutcracker transforms into a real prince! They travel together through a land filled with dancing snowflakes and a glistening Snow Queen and King.
 
The next stop is the kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy, where Clara and her Nutcracker Prince are honored for their bravery by dancers from all around the world. Suddenly, Clara awakens to find herself in her own bed, wondering if her magical adventure had really happened or had been simply just a dream.



History

In 1816, German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann published The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. In 1844,Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers) adapted Hoffmann’s tale, which, with a few exceptions, is most like the children’s tale we see performed today.
 
In December, 1892, the Nutcracker ballet premiered at the Imperial Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. The ballet was a collaboration of Marius Petipa (senior ballet master to the Tsar), PyotrIlyich Tchaikovsky (the famous Russian composer), and Lev Ivanov (Petipa's assistant, who took over choreography when Petipa fell ill).
 
With their 1944 staging, the San Francisco Ballet became the first American professional company to premier a full-lengthThe Nutcracker. In 1954, George Balanchine created a new staging of The Nutcracker, having performed many of the roles previously at the Mariinksy Theater in his native Russia. This version is the one American audiences are most familiar with today.
 
In 1956, the Austin Ballet Society (later Ballet Austin), accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra performed excerpts from The Nutcracker. In 1962 Ballet Austin was the first company in Texas to perform the full-length version of the ballet.
                                                                                                                   
In 1997 Ballet Austin started the tradition of inviting local celebrities to dance the role of Mother Ginger. Past Mother Gingers have included:
 
• Hon. Lee Leffingwell, Mayor of Austin
• Ann Richards, former Governor of Texas
• Bill Powers, President of the University of Texasat Austin
• Lance Armstrong, 7-time winner of the Tour de France
• Robert Rodriguez, film director and screenwriter
• Michael Dell, Chairman of Dell Computers
• Kinky Friedman, singer/songwriter, novelist, humorist
 
In 1999, Stephen Mills premiered his original version of Ballet Austin’sThe Nutcracker. This is the choreography you’ll see onstage in December.



Music

“Just listen to the ballet’s overture. In good productions, the view of childhood that starts here, in the miniature orchestration and quick pulse of Tchaikovsky’s introduction, is enchantingly serious. Gradually the music will build in scale until you reach the colossal, slow, full-orchestral grandeur of the Sugar Plum adagio in Act Two: no ballet score has a greater span, and this shows how passionately Tchaikovsky was depicting the inner life of a child… The Nutcrackeris a musical masterpiece and, in some stagings, a theatrical masterpiece, too. As institutions go, it is one that repays revisiting.”
- Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times, Dec. 16, 2009
 
The musical score of The Nutcracker has become a cornerstone of Tchaikovsky’s body of work and of the Christmas experience. The score can be classified under the Romantic period of music, known for its expression and passion as opposed to any formal rules. The melodies of The Nutcracker, like the famous Russian dance or the Waltz of the Flowers, are still considered to be some of the most inventive and harmonically advanced in ballet music.
 
One novelty in the original score was the use of the celesta, a miniature piano named for its celestial, heavenly sound. Tchaikovsky discovered the instrument in Paris and used it intentionally to characterize the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy.



Costumes



Sets




Cast & Credits


Cast

Frau Silberhaus
Aara Krumpe (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Ashley Lynn (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Herr Silberhaus
Frank Shott (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Paul Michael Bloodgood (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Clara
Peyton Cunningham (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Tamiko Murphy (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Fritz
Jason “Matthew” Vargas (December 7, 8, 13, 14, 15)
Alexei Bauereis (December 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)

Drosselmeyer
Edward Carr

Nephew
Ian J. Bethany (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Michael Burfield (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Governess
Anne Marie Melendez (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Chelsea Marie Renner (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Guests
Rebecca Johnson, Grace Morton, Elise Pekarek, Brittany Strickland, Paul Michael Bloodgood, Michael Burfield, Jordan Moser, Preston Andrew Patterson (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Rebecca Johnson, Grace Morton, Elise Pekarek, Brittany Strickland, Orlando Julius Canova, Jordan Moser, Preston Andrew Patterson, Frank Shott (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Party Girls
Erica Alves, Maria Sol Blankemeyer, Hannah Grace Brannon, Madeline Casas, Georgia Ferguson, Mary Iliukevich, Maggie Medford, Marika Murphy, Olivia Radi, Ivy Smith, Kennedy Warnken

Party Boys
Frederick Christiano, James Christiano, Zachary Masaryk, Paul James (PJ) Meyer, Owen Mueller, Owen Scales, Maverick Trumpler, Jason “Matthew” Vargas

Columbine Doll
Chelsea Marie Renner (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Oren Porterfield (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Harlequin Doll
Orlando Julius Canova (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Ian J. Bethany (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Mice
Siska Blois, Lightner Callahan, Georgia Dover, Ashleigh Hernandez, Hannah S. Kitta, Ava Melvin, Helena Monsivais, Emma Nix, Ella Plowman, Clare Guadalupe Rodriquez, Ava Schultz, Katerina Sheber

Nutcracker Prince
Ian J. Bethany (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Michael Burfield (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Rat King
James Fuller (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Christopher Swaim (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Rats
Oliver Greene-Cramer, Kevin Murdock-Waters, Ashton Plummer, Audrey Balliette, Katie Crellin, Catalina Gallegos, Chandler Hefter, Miriam Hood, Jake Howard, Maddi Scovell

Toy Soldiers
Jesse Chase-Lubitz, Elizabeth (Lisa) Larson, Leana Markos, Delaney Shorb, Arielle Sperber, Rachel Mengden, Abbey Nicolle Smith

Cavalry
Regina Castaneda, Tahmina Dunn-Beltran, Susannah Joffe, Summer Keller, Marina Monsivais, Ekaterina Liya Raleigh, Karel Tinkler, Isabella Zou

Angels
Violeta Andrade, Annabel Andre, Faith Bicknell, Catherine Anne Bircher, Elisa Brunel, Kennedy Clement, Danica Djurdjanovic, Ava Doyle, Zoe Ehrlich, Elle Garcia, Sofia Gonzalez, Abigail Hawes, Georgia Hernandez, Audrey Holm, Ada A. Latrubesse, Sophie Lee, Alina Linklater, Charlotte Linklater, Aislin Lyman, Grace May, Amethyst Mellberg-Smith, Nya Mitchell, Claire Murray, Katherine Nichols, Isabella Paris,Zoe Rabinowitz, Irina Raleigh, Naomi Remington, Nadia Saba, Sofi Savarese, Claire Schaefer, Samantha Sparks, Audrey Stephenson, Olivia Storck, Olivia Swonke, Zoe Tanner, Mira Wagner, Mimi Wilkinson, Lucy Willcott, Sakura Willingham

Snow Queen
Rebecca Johnson (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 20, 21 at 7:30pm)
Anne Marie Melendez (December 8, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 22 at 2pm, 23)
Jaime Lynn Witts (December 13, 15, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 7:30pm)

Snow King
Christopher Swaim (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 20, 21 at 7:30pm)
James Fuller (December 8, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 22 at 2pm, 23)
Preston Andrew Patterson (December 13, 15, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 7:30pm)

Snowflakes
Natasha Carl, Tanya Garcia, Anne Marie Melendez, Grace Morton, Elise Pekarek, Oren Porterfield, Chelsea Marie Renner, Rosie Grady Sayvetz, Towa Shinagawa, Brittany Strickland, Rayleigh Vendt, Nicole Voris, Cassia Wilson, Jaime Lynn Witts

Sugar Plum Fairy
Ashley Lynn (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Aara Krumpe (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Cavalier
Paul Michael Bloodgood (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Frank Shott (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Spanish
Elise Pekarek, Orlando Julius Canova
James Fuller, Christopher Swaim, Oliver Greene-Cramer, Ashton Plummer
(December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)

Brittany Strickland, James Fuller
Orlando Julius Canova, Edward Carr, Kevin Murdock-Waters, Ashton Plummer
(December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Arabian
Anne Marie Melendez, Edward Carr (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Rebecca Johnson, Christopher Swaim (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Chinese
Jordan Moser (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Preston Andrew Patterson (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Regina Castaneda, Alabel Chapin, Winifred Duncan, Caitriona Hurley, Susannah
Joffe, Summer Keller, Marina Monsivais, Ekaterina Liya Raleigh, Chloe Shields,
Karel Tinkler, Anna Wyszkowski, Isabella Zou

Russian
Preston Andrew Patterson (December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)
Ian J. Bethany (December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)
Oliver Greene-Cramer, Kevin Murdock-Waters

French
Grace Morton, Michael Burfield
Towa Shinagawa, Cassia Wilson, Elizabeth (Lisa) Larson, Arielle Sperber
(December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)

Oren Porterfield, Jordan Moser
Natasha Carl, Rosie Grady Sayvetz, Rayleigh Vendt, Leana Markos
(December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)

Bon Bons
Riyo Adler, Allison Agthe, Natalia Andrade, Mia Benge, Ellie Lou Benwell, Avery De Jong, Mia Dzaferbegovic, Carmen Eff, Kaya Rose Epstein, April Gao, Natalia Gomez, Lilly Grogono, Eileen Helwig, Aisling Hurley,
Cate Jesser, Erika Jones, Mackensie Kim, Nica Lasater, Sofia Maass, Martha Keith McComack, Camille Phares, Sophie Radi, Grace Helen Schaefer, Kira Schultz, Sadie Shea, Vivian Smith, Dorothy Thompson,
Bethany Williamson, Josephine Willman, Abriana Wilson, Karen Zhang, Sandra Zurga

Waltz of the Flowers
Jaime Lynn Witts
Brittany Strickland, Natasha Carl, Tanya Garcia, Rosie Grady Sayvetz,
Rayleigh Vendt, Nicole Voris
(December 7, 14 at 2pm, 15, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, 22 at 7:30pm)

Chelsea Marie Renner
Grace Morton, Elise Pekarek, Tanya Garcia, Towa Shinagawa,
Nicole Voris, Cassia Wilson
(December 8, 13, 14 at 7:30pm, 19, 21 at 2pm, 22 at 2pm, 23)



Credits

Choreography by Stephen Mills
Music by PyotrIlyich Tchaikovsky
Costume Design by Judanna Lynn
Scenic Design by Holly Highfill
Lighting Design by Tony Tucci
Live Musical Accompaniment by the Austin Symphony Orchestra



Artist Profiles

Stephen Mills, Choreographer
Stephen Mills began his tenure as Artistic Director at Ballet Austin in 2000. Known for an innovative and highly collaborative approach to choreography, Mill’s diverse repertoire of original and interpretive works is often difficult to categorize. Notions of classical, neo-classical, and modern meld into the organic.

In 2004, The Washington Post dubbed Ballet Austin "one of America's best kept secrets" after Ballet Austin performed Mills' world premier of The Taming of the Shrew, commissioned by and performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Recent recipient of the Steinberg Award, the top honor at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur International Choreographic Competition for his original work One/The Body’s Grace, Mills has guest taught at pre-professional dance academies across the country and remains a committed member of the national dance service organization Dance/USA.


Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Russia in1840. He began studying music theory at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1862, and later joined the teaching faculty at the newly-established Moscow Conservatory.

In 1877, Tchaikovsky began a friendship with the widow Nadezhada von Meck, a wealthy patron of the arts who would support him through the next 14 years. Her patronage allowed him to quit teaching and devote himself to composition.

In addition to ten operas, six symphonies, the 1812 Overture, Serenade for Strings, and a fantasy-overture for Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky composed three ballets: Swan Lake (1876), The Sleeping Beauty (1889), and The Nutcracker (1892). Each ballet is drawn from folklore or fairy tale, and those fantasy elements, along with the color and drama of the ballets, are apparent in much of Tchaikovsky’s music. As Professor Robert Greenberg says, "If Tchaikovsky felt it, it found a way into his music."

Tchaikovsky died from cholera on November 6, 1893, nine days after the premier of his sixth symphony, Pathétique.


Director's Notes


Reviews


“Ballet Austin’s flawless rendition of Tchaikovsky’s opus – like our favorite childhood holiday memory –  is something we want to relive,  and we can’t wait to see the light in our children’s eyes when the curtain rises for the first time."—Austin Woman Magazine, December 2011.
Read the complete review here
 
“With a score by Tchaikovsky, snappy choreography by Stephen Mills, and a theater full of folks decked out in their finest gear (well, some people will be wearing jeans, but this is Texas, after all), you'll easily see why, for many, the holidays aren't complete without this experience."—Caitlin Moore, Austinist,12/8/11
Read the complete review here
 
Watch KVUE News’ 11/28/11 interview with The Nutcracker choreographer Stephen Mills here
 
Read Austin Angel’s 11/23/11 interview with Sugar Plum Fairy Ashley Lynn Gilfix here
 
"Mills’ choreography, which calls for concise movement and perfectly placed lines by the snow corps de ballet, mimics the crispness of a snowflake landing on one’s nose."—Claire Christine Spera, Austin-American Statesman, 12/13/10
Read the complete review here

"The over 100-year-old ballet, with its many character roles, is a natural opportunity for dedicated young dancers to perform in a full-length, professional production. Ballet Austin’s annual The Nutcracker at the LongCenter is no exception to this rule." —Claire Christine Spera, Austin-American Statesman, 12/13/10

"You may not realize it, but Austin has a hard-working, ambitious and innovative ballet company in its midst, and they have bestowed upon us one of the greatest gifts of all—a fresh, energetic rendering of a classic Christmas show."—Caitlin Moore, Austinist,12/10/08
Read the complete review here
 
12/14/09 Hear Austin Classical 89.5 KMFA host Dianne Donovan interview Stephen Mills, discussing his choreography and the history of The Nutcracker here
 
12/9/09 Get a behind-the-scenes look at the production with Artistic Director Stephen Mills and Ballet Austin dancers here
 
12/8/09 Read the Austinist review of the 2009 production here
 
12/9/08 Read the Austin American Statesmanfeature on Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker, “Waiting in the Wings” here
 
12/5/08 Watch Austin’s KVUE News preview of The Nutcracker here and the video of KVUE's Tyler Sieswerda as Mother Ginger here
 
12/8/08Hear KUT Austin's John Aielli interview Stephen Mills, Michelle Martin (Associate Artistic Director, Ballet Austin), Bill Piner (Director of Schools, Ballet Austin), Jeff Eckstein (Conductor, Austin Symphony), and Paul Michael Bloodgood(Dancer, Ballet Austin) before the inaugural Nutcracker at the Long Center here
 
12/08/05 TheAustin American-Statesmandiscusses The Nutcrackerwith Michelle Martin here

Events


Family Dance Workshop – The Nutcracker 
Sun Nov 10, 2:30 - 3:45pm & 4:30 - 5:45pm
Ballet Austin’s AustinVentures StudioTheater

See excerpts from Austin’s Holiday Tradition, Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker, and create your own choreography with the help of Ballet Austin dancers. Recommended for children ages 3 to 12 years old and their family members. Learn more or sign up.

Studio Spotlight – The Nutcracker
Thurs Nov 21, 2013
12 – 1pm or 6 – 7pm
Ballet Austin’s AustinVentures StudioTheater

Watch a professional dance company in action! Up-close, personal, and informal, Studio Spotlight gives guests a behind-the-scenes look at choreography and elements from the upcoming production while it is still in the works. This is the perfect lunchtime break or happy hour activity! Free admission for those who RSVP. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Learn more or sign up.
 
 
Footlights – The Nutcracker
One hour prior to all performances Dec 7 – 23
The Long Center

Enhance your experience at the ballet with a pre-show lecture and Q&A for all ages. See the last-minute preparations unfold in the background as you relax and gain a unique understanding of the performance you are about to see! Learn more.

Get TicketsThe Long Center
7:30pm | Dec 7, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22
2pm | Dec 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23

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The Nutcracker Underwriter:

Sponsored by:
Funded in part by a Ballet Austin Foundation Endowment through
the generosity of The Kuglen Foundation - Dr. and Mrs. Craig Kuglen.

 
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