Governor and Mrs. Markell to Appear in Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance 50th Nutcracker

Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance will have some distinguished company this year as it celebrates its 50th Nutcracker at the Playhouse on Rodney Square on December 3rd and 4th. Governor Jack Markell and First Lady Carla Markell will be appearing in the Saturday matinee show at 2pm to help kick off the anniversary performance.

"Carla and I are thrilled to help Wilmington Ballet celebrate its 50th Nutcracker," says Governor Markell. "The studio has been an essential part of the arts community in downtown Wilmington, providing high quality classical ballet instruction for the past 60 years. I admire Wilmington Ballet for striving to make the arts accessible to a greater cross-section of our community through its scholarship programs and by providing complimentary performance tickets to local community organizations. We must continue to support its success, recognizing the tremendous impact of the arts on the quality of life in our state, and I'm proud that we have recently been recognized as the leading Mid-Atlantic state when it comes to investment in the arts. "

Wilmington Ballet's Nutcracker is unique in that it incorporates world-class professional dancers with local dancers of all ages. This year's Sugar Plum Fairy will be played by Abi Stafford, principal dancer with New York City Ballet along with Cavalier Stephen Hanna, formerly of New York City Ballet. Wilmington Ballet's Nutcracker is the only performance that has featured a live orchestra and chorus every year since its inception. Allan R. Scott, conductor for the Helena Symphony Orchestra and Archmere Academy alum, will be conducting his seventh show. The Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble will bring down the house as usual with its lively folk dance and acrobatics. It is a point of pride for Wilmington Ballet to have its own students, ages six through adult, practice and perform side-by-side with these prestigious artists.

As for what roles the Governor and Mrs. Markell will be playing, you'll have to come and see the show, but they may be dancing...

Tickets to the show can be purchased at www.theplayhousede.org.

Founded in 1956, Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance is one of the oldest surviving ballet schools in the tri-state area. The school is dedicated to providing superior classical ballet training to individuals ages three through adult. For more information about Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance and the Nutcracker, visit www.wilmingtonballet.org



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