Maine State Ballet Receives Grant for BACKSTAGE AT THE NUTCRACKER

Every year during the run of Maine State Ballet's The Nutcracker at Merrill Auditorium, the ballet company offers a special educational program called Backstage at the Nutcracker for area schools. This year, a generous $4000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation's Welch Charitable Fund will help pay the admission cost for students who otherwise could not afford to attend. The grant money is earmarked to support several local schools where the number of students receiving free hot lunch is over 60%. Maine State Ballet is grateful that the generous support of the Maine Community Fund will help to fulfill the Company's mission to uplift the Maine community through the medium of dance.

Backstage at the Nutcracker performances allow schools and students to get a sneak peak at Maine State Ballet's full-length ballet production at Merrill Auditorium. The program provides education on the silent "language" of classical ballet and gives students a behind the scenes look at how the stage magic is created, from costumes to choreography, sets to scenery. There is also a brief history of E.T.A Hoffman's story of The Nutcracker as well as Tchaikovsky's famous score. The show is suitable for students of all ages and most enjoyed by students in grades K-5.
The program includes excerpts from The Nutcracker, including dancing dolls, giant mice, dancing snowflakes, and a magical Christmas tree that grows before your eyes!
Backstage at the Nutcracker will be performed on Tuesday, November 29, at 10:00am and 12:30pm, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland. For more information, call Maine State Ballet at 207-781-7672, or visit

Maine State Ballet, based in Falmouth, Maine, is one of New England's leading performing arts institutions and twice named Maine's Best Dance Group by Downeast Magazine. Its two components are the School for the Performing Arts, offering instruction in ballet, tap, jazz and other dance styles to more than 500 children and adults; and the Maine State Ballet Company, comprised of more than 25 professional dancers. Maine State Ballet is a nonprofit organization.

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