5D3_8046In its 30th anniversary season, the North Country Ballet Ensemble’s Nutcracker will entertain audiences with new choreography and sparkling new costumes. Choreographer Terpsie Toon is hard at work adapting the battle between the mice and soldiers into an even more charming and exciting dream for the ballet’s heroine, Clare. New York City Costume Designer Anna-Alisa Belous, has created new Snow Variation costumes that evoke a starry night of swirling snow. 

Alice Schonbek, in her fourth season as Artistic Director, has commissioned significant makeovers of key aspects of the Nutcracker. Affiliate choreographer, Rebecca Kelly of New York City, continues her

17-year relationship with the NCBE. In addition to Rebecca Kelly, the NCBE artistic staff includes Michela Boschetto of New York City who is in her 8th year with the NCBE, Terpsie Toon, 6 year resident choreographer, and Natalia Balina-Zborowska. Also noteworthy this year is the unprecedented extent of community participation and support, with a cast of 65 local student dancers and 15 community members to entertain audiences.

Outstanding New York City professional dancers will be joining them for the 30th anniversary season. Therese Wendler, principal dancer with Rebecca Kelly Ballet and Dances Patrelle. Therese, a former principal dancer with Connecticut Ballet, will dance the role of Sugar Plum Fairy. Mikhail Ilyin, will perform in the role of Cavalier. Ilyin, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, received his training at the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy before moving to the United States in 1999. Mikhail has danced as soloist and principal dancer with Boston Ballet, Miami City ballet and American Ballet Theater.

Lily Glazier of Malone will dance the role of Claire, while newcomer Harrison Matthews from Jay will perform as Fritz. We welcome back the charismatic and ever entertaining Jason Borrie as Uncle Drosselmeyer, as well as Karen Courtland Kelly as the Nutcracker. The NCBE graduates two seniors this season, Sarah Edwards and Deryn Makowski. Edwards will dance the role of King Mouse in the Battle Scene, ensemble member in the Snow Scene, corps member in the Arabian Variation, and as the Dew Drop in Waltz of the Flowers. Fellow senior Makowski will perform as Claire’s Angel, and Act 2 Angel Soloist, as a member of the Snow Scene ensemble, in the Arabian Variation, and as an corps member in Waltz of the Flowers.

Erika Guay, of the SUNY Plattsburgh Theater Department, will provide the lighting design. Look for new lighting special effects in the Snow Scene. Once again, the show’s visual appeal will also be enhanced by a variety of new set features, designed and produced by a number of dedicated community members.

The Nutcracker will be performed in Plattsburgh on Friday, November 27th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, November 28th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 29th at 2:00 p.m., at the Hartman Theater, Myers Fine Arts Building, SUNY Plattsburgh. All categories of tickets are on sale at The Party Factory (518) 561-6001, and one hour prior to each Plattsburgh performance on site at Hartman Theatre. Ticket prices are General seating: $10 children (12 and under) and seniors; $15 adult; Reserved seating: $13 children (ages 12 and under) and seniors; $18 adults. For ticket information and group sales, please call (518) 572-1224. Please visit http://www.north-country-ballet-ensemble.org for information about the NCBE. Lake Placid Performances take place at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts located at 17 Algonquin Drive in Lake Placid on December 5th at 7:30 p.m. and December 6th at 1p.m.  Ticket prices are $15 children (ages12 and under); $20 adults. For reservations or ticket information, please call the LPCA at (518) 523-2512 or visit www.LakePlacidArts.org.