NYTB Kicks Off Once Upon a Ballet Season with The Nutcracker, Dec. 3

The New York Theatre Ballet will present its 2005-2006 Once Upon A Ballet family series, beginning performances of The Nutcracker on December 3, 2005 at Florence Gould Hall (55 East 59th Street, NYC). The Once Upon A Ballet family series, designed for children ages 3 and up, will feature hour-long ballets of The Nutcracker, Mother GOOSE!, The Alice-In-Wonderland Follies, and Cinderella.

Once Upon A Ballet features three works choreographed by Keith Michael and one by choreographer Donald Mahler. The series also features costumes by Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan (resident costume designer, The Metropolitan Opera) and individual sets by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith (resident set designer, NYTB) and Derek Stenborg (assistant scenic designer, Spamalot).

The Once Upon A Ballet Family Series/2005-2006 schedule is as follows:

The company will first unveil The Nutcracker. "NYTB's 20th anniversary production of choreographer Keith Michael's miniature version of the timeless holiday classic is based on lithographs from the English Toy Theatre of the early 19th Century. Featuring sets by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith and costumes by Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan." It will be presented at December 3 at 11 am, December 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 11 am, 1 pm and 3:30 pm and December 9 at 10 am and 12 noon.

Mother GOOSE! will be performed next. "Classic nursery rhymes leap from the page to the stage from choreographer, Keith Michael. With Little Bo Peep, Jack & Jill, a Three-Legged Goose and more...Mother GOOSE! features an original score by renowned Russian composer Vladimir Shinov. Featuring sets by Derek Stenborg and costumes by Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan." It will run on February 3 at 10 am, February 4 at 11 am and 1 pm and February 5 at 11 am, 1 pm and 3:30 pm.

In The Alice-In-Wonderland Follies, "Follow Alice's adventures through Wonderland as she meets some of the most beloved characters in children's literature. Presented in a vaudeville setting (NY, circa 1915), this eclectic ballet draws on many different dance forms – from Irish Step Dancing to African Juba to classical ballet. Featuring sets by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith and costumes by Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan. It will be presented at March 3 at 10 am, 12 noon and 7:30 pm, and March 4 and 5 at 11 am, 1 pm and 3:30 pm

With Cinderella, a "dancing clock, the wacky stepsisters and everyone's favorite princess-to-be make this production a delight for boys and girls of any age. Featuring choreography by Donald Mahler, costumes by Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan and sets by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith." It will be performed on April 28 at 10 am, April 29th at 11 am and 1 pm, April 30th at 11 am, 1 pm and 3:30 pm.

The NYTB 2005 Winter Gala is themed as Celebration in the Land of The Sweets. "On Saturday, December 3, NYTB will present a winter gala benefit...(that) will include a one-hour performance of The Nutcracker at 2pm, followed by a 90-minute reception at Florence Gould Hall complete with desserts, games, prizes and goody bags. Tickets for Celebration in the Land of The Sweets are $100 for children and $150 for adults. All proceeds benefit NYTB and the LIFT Community Service Program.

"Since its inception in 1978, the NYTB has been dedicated to reviving small classic masterworks as well as cultivating new ballets. Under the leadership of founder and artistic director Diana Byer, NYTB is known for its theatrical expressiveness, high production quality, accessibility and emphasis on intimacy with its audiences. NYTB has become the nation's most widely-seen chamber ballet ensemble offering a distinctive classical repertory of contemporary choreography as well as classical works by many of the greatest and most esteemed choreographers of the 20th century," according to press notes.

Single tickets for the Once Upon a Ballet family series are $25 for children 12 & under, all other tickets $30. Tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster.com at 212-
307-4100 or, in-person at Florence Gould Hall box office. The four-show Once Upon A Ballet series subscription is $85 for children and $105 for adults. For subscription tickets, call NYTB at 212-679-0401.

For more information, visit www.nytb.org.

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