Festival Ballet Theatre Presents THE NUTCRACKER, Now thru 12/24

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The Festival Ballet Theatre in Fountain Valley, Calif., is the premiere ballet company in the Orange County Area. The ballet will present a handful of upcoming Nutcracker performances from tonight, December 14th to the 24th at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. 

Special guest artists include Irina Dvorovenko (American Ballet Theatre), Maxim Beloserkovsky (ABT), Carla Korbes (Pacific Northwest), Fabrice Calmels (Joffrey), Stella Abrera (ABT) and Sascha Radetsky (ABT) all performing in the ballet's stunning rendition of the children's classic.

The Nutcracker is the story of a young lady, Clara, who receives the gift of an enchanting wooden nutcracker soldier from her mysterious godfather, Dr. Drosselmeyer. During the night, magical events unfold – the Christmas tree grows taller, toy soldiers and little mice become larger, Clara's beloved toy comes to life and battles the ferocious Mouse King. Just as it seems all is lost, Clara distracts the evil Mouse King and saves her beloved Nutcracker Soldier. Her act of bravery transforms the Nutcracker into a handsome Prince. To show his gratitude, he takes Clara on a magical journey – complete with a storm of swirling snowflakes – to the Kingdom of Sweets. Upon their arrival, the Sugar Plum Fairy calls for a celebration in honor of Clara. One after another, delectable and exotic dancers from faraway lands pay tribute to our heroine. Set to the music of Peter Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russian, on December 18, 1892.

SCHEDULE:

Irina Dvorovenko & Maxim Beloserkovsky
American Ballet Theatre
Friday, December 14, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2012 @ 2:00 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 1:00 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 6:00 PM

Carla Korbes, Pacific Northwest Ballet &
Fabrice Calmels, Joffrey Ballet
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Friday, December 21, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 22, 2012 @ 2:00 PM

Stella Abrera & Sascha Radetsky
American Ballet Theatre
Saturday, December 22, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 23, 2012 @ 1:00 PM
Sunday, December 23, 2012 @ 6:00 PM
Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

Tickets: $40 adults; $37 seniors; $35 children. For group discounts, call the box office. *Family Nights: Dec 19 & 20 at 7pm. Buy 4 or more tickets for $30 each.

Festival Ballet Theatre simultaneously attracts the best in professional dance to its home base while sending its own dancers out as artistic ambassadors to the world.

Founded by Salwa Rizkalla in 1988 and named Outstanding Arts Organization of the Year in 2001 by Arts Orange County, Festival Ballet Theatre Company has become one of Southern California's most vibrant and accomplished regional ballet companies. Celebrating more than 20 years of artistic service to Orange County, FBT is dedicated to presenting works that epitomize the artistry of professional ballet, offering cultural awareness of dance through educational programs, and nurturing a creative environment for some of our county's most talented dancerS. Boasting a roster of impressive talent, the company's productions also feature internationally acclaimed guest artists from American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Scottish Ballet.

Festival Ballet Theatre Company strives to enrich the experience of Orange County's dance audience by highlighting the work of world-renowned guest and resident choreographers who have received critical acclaim for original ballets around the globe. With reverence for masterpieces of the past and a clear focus on developing future tour de forces, FBT presents a varied repertoire of full-length classical ballets including Coppélia, Don Quixote, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, as well as contemporary works by some of the nation's most sought-after choreographers.

Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla's artistic vision and community involvement led to the creation of Festival Ballet Theatre Company, and its precursor Southland Ballet Academy. Her credentials as a classical ballet dancer include an impressive list of leading roles in well-known classical ballets, as well as appearances in original contemporary pieces. During her distinguished career as a professional dancer, Rizkalla had the privilege of working under the direction of world-renowned choreographers Leonid Lavrovsky and Serge Lifar. Trained in the Russian Vaganova method and having studied with ballet masters of the Bolshoi and the Kirov, Rizkalla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ballet Pedagogy.

In addition to her responsibilities as the artistic director of Festival Ballet Theatre and her busy teaching schedule at Southland Ballet Academy, Rizkalla has been a faculty member of several area institutions, including Golden West College and the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts. A fully credentialed California teacher, she has been a dedicated educator, a tireless promoter of the arts, and an active participant in the cultural life of her community for more than 25 years. Her contributions to teaching dance have been recognized by The Orange County Music and Arts Administrators and Orange County Performing Arts Center with an Orange County Arts Educator of the Year Award for Secondary Dance (2003), and by Youth America Grand Prix, which has awarded Rizkalla Outstanding Teacher accolades several years running, including 2010.

For more information, visit www.festivalballet.org.