Dances Patrelle to Hold 10th Annual Production at Kaye Playhouse

DANCES PATRELLE’s “THE YORKVILLE NUTCRACKER” will have its 10th annual production, at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (68th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues) NYC; December 11h - 14th.  Once again The Yorkville Nutcracker will have students from: Ballet Academy East, Studio Maestro, The Ailey School and 92nd St Y Harkness Dance Center.  The two-act ballet, has been choreographed by Artistic Director, Francis Patrelle.  It has set design by Gillian Bradshaw-Smiths, costumes by Rita B. Watson, and lighting by David Grill.  The cast will feature special guest artists from the New York City Ballet: Jenifer Ringer and Jared Angle. Artists are subject to change.

“THE YORKVILLE NUTCRACKER” begins on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1895 and New York City’s newly elected mayor William L. Strong is hosting a party at Gracie Mansion for his children, Mary and Putnam.  Among those attending this special holiday celebration are dignitaries and businessmen from foreign nations, the owners of the mansion – the Babcock’s – and NYC Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt.  As a Christmas present from her uncle, Mary receives her beloved Nutcracker, which later at the party her brother breaks.  The distraught Mary Falls asleep and in her dreams, the Nutcracker is saved.  The two of them share an adventure in which they delight in a magical sleigh ride leading them to the frozen lake in Central Park.  There the Snow King and Queen ice skate as the lights of the Dakota apartment building shine brightly in the night sky.

Act II commences with Mary and Putnam with the Snow Queen being transported to the Crystal Palace at the Bronx Botanical Gardens where they are presented as heroes to the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Kingdom of the Sweets.  Dances are performed to remind the audience of the various nationalities of the guests at Mayor Strong’s party – Spanish, Arabian, Chinese, Russian, French and Dutch.  The dancing culminates in a Grand Pas de Deux by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.  On Christmas morning the children awake from their dreams and exchange gifts back at Gracie Mansion.

The Babcocks, the International Consul Generals and their families and Noah Wheaton, uncle of the Babcocks, are all historically accurate.  Artistic Director Francis Patrelle portrays Teddy Roosevelt, then New York City’s police commissioner.

Artistic Director, Francis Patrelle has created ballets for numerous distinguished dancers such as: Lynn Aaron, Merrill Ashley, Frank Augustyn, Peter Boal, Judith Fugate, Marcelo Gomez, Karen Kain, Lourdes Lopez, Douglas Martin, John Meehan, Daniel Mejia, Kevin O’Day, Johnathan Riseling, Jenifer Ringer, Jock Soto, Miranda Weese, Tim Wengerd, Donald Williams, and Prima Ballerina Cynthia Gregory to only name a few.  He studied ballet in Philadelphia before receiving his BFA from Juilliard, where he studied with Alfredo Corvino, Jose Limon, and Antony Tudor.  In 1980, he began choreographing for opera companies (Vienna State and Santa Fe).  This led to Willie Stark, directed by Harold Prince for the Houston Grand Opera, which was televised on PBS’s Great Performers Series as well as performed at the Kennedy Center. He also has many theater credits.  Mr. Patrelle has worked with a wide range of companies throughout the world.

Dances Patrelle, reinventing dramatic dance, was founded in 1988. One of the goals is to bring dramatic dance to all audiences, through a collaborative process which blends music, drama, and history.  dP’s goals are to expand the awareness and appreciation for dramatic ballet; to preserve the works of Francis Patrelle and to provide an opportunity for further choreographic expression as well as present other choreographers’ dramatic ballets and a forum for those works.  Also dP provides a forum by which experienced dancers can share in a mentoring relationship with young dancers, and contribute to their evolution as performers and artists and also to provide maturing dancers the opportunity to expand their art through new choreographic works.

Performances of Dances Patrelle “The Yorkville Nutcracker” are Thursday (12/11) at 7 PM, Friday (12/12) at 7 PM, Saturday (12/13) at 2 PM and 7 PM and Sunday (12/14) at 12 Noon and 5 PM.  Tickets are $85, $55 & $40.  For reservations call dP (212) 722-7933.  Tickets can be purchased at at a later date at The Kaye Playhouse box office at (212) 772-4448.  Rush tickets will be available 1 hr before show. www.dancespatrelle.org




More On: David Grill, Jenifer Ringer, Mary F, Frank Augustyn, Douglas Martin, Jock Soto, Donald Williams, Cynthia Gregory, Alfredo Corvino.

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by Barnett Serchuk