Misty Copeland and Daniil Simkin Lead Opening NIght of ABT's THE NUTCRACKER at Segerstrom Center

Misty Copeland and Daniil Simkin Lead Opening NIght of ABT's THE NUTCRACKER at Segerstrom CenterCasting for American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker, co-presented by Segerstrom Center for the Arts and ABT, was announced today by Kevin Mckenzie, ABT Artistic Director and Terry Dwyer, Segerstrom Center President. Choreographed by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, The Nutcracker will be given 13 performances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, December 7-17, 2017. Misty Copeland and Daniil Simkin will lead the opening night cast on December 7 dancing the roles of Clara, the Princess and Nutcracker, the Prince, respectively. Subsequent casts include Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo, Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside, Stella Abrera and Alexandre Hammoudi, and Hee Seo and Cory Stearns in the leading roles.

The Nutcracker is a beloved holiday story set to the magical score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. The Los Angeles Times declared, "Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has made his own Christmas miracle: a joyful 'Nutcracker' ballet that is ravishing and clever enough to inspire multiple viewings." Scenery and costumes are by award-winning designer Richard Hudson and lighting is by Jennifer Tipton. Pacific Symphony performs the evocative holiday music. Select students from the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School at Segerstrom Center are afforded the opportunity to perform alongside the renowned ABT troupe in this classic tale that takes the young, romantic Clara and her Nutcracker Prince on a dreamlike journey.

The engagement of The Nutcracker continues an on-going relationship between Segerstrom Center and American Ballet Theatre. The Company has appeared at the Center since 1987. At the Center, ABT gave the world premiere of Mikhail Baryshnikov's Swan Lake in 1988, the West Coast premiere of Kevin Mckenzie's new production of The Sleeping Beauty in 2007 and the world premiere of a new production of Firebird by Alexei Ratmansky in 2012. In 2008, the Center and ABT co-commissioned Twyla Tharp's Rabbit and Rogue, receiving its world premiere in New York and West Coast premiere at the Center. In 1999, ABT's production of Le Corsaire was taped in Segerstrom Hall for broadcast on PBS' Dance In America, winning an Emmy Award. In 2003, The Dream was also taped at the Center for broadcast on Dance In America. Two more recent world premieres have also taken place including the 2015 presentation of ABT's new production of The Sleeping Beauty as choreographed by Maurius Petipa with staging and additional choreography by Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky and 2017's Whipped Cream featuring choreography by Ratmansky with design and costumes by pop-surrealist Mark Ryden.

Thursday, December 7 at 7 p.m.

Misty Copeland Daniil Simkin

Wednesday, December 13 at 7 p.m.

Misty Copeland Daniil Simkin

Friday, December 8 at 7 p.m.

Sarah Lane Herman Cornejo

Thursday, December 14 at 7 p.m.

Hee Seo Cory Stearns

Saturday, December 9 at 2 p.m.

Gillian Murphy James Whiteside

Friday, December 15 at 7 p.m.

Gillian Murphy James Whiteside

Saturday, December 9 at 7 p.m.

Stella Abrera Alexandre Hammoudi

Saturday, December 16 at 2 p.m.

Stella Abrera Alexandre Hammoudi

Sunday, December 10 at 12:30 p.m.

Sarah Lane Herman Cornejo

Saturday, December 16 at 7 p.m.

Misty Copeland Daniil Simkin

Sunday, December 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Hee Seo Cory Stearns

Sunday, December 17 at 12:30 p.m.

Hee Seo Cory Stearns

Sunday, December 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Gillian Murphy James Whiteside

Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker start at $29 are now available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. Special Sweet Seats are available for every performance and include:

• Premier seating location in Orchestra rows A - F

• Exclusive pre-show selfie opportunity with ABT dancer

• A special Nutcracker-themed gift

• A special holiday sweet treat The Center applauds special underwriting for The Nutcracker from Connie and Peter Spenuzza and Chanel. The Center's International Dance Series is made possible by the Audrey Steele Burnand Endowed Fund for International Dance and The Segerstrom Foundation Endowment for Great Performances. Segerstrom Center for the Arts thanks its corporate partners including Kia Motors America, Official Automotive Partner; United Airlines, Official Airline; and Omaha Steaks International, Official Fine Food Retailer. Classical KUSC and COAST Magazine are Media Partners of the International Dance Series.

American Ballet Theatre is one of the great dance companies in the world. Few ballet companies equal ABT for its combination of size, scope and outreach. Recognized as a living National Treasure since its founding in 1940, ABT annually tours the United States, performing for more than 400,000 people, and is the only major cultural institution to do so.

For nearly 78 years, the Company has appeared in a total of 132 cities in 50 countries and has performed in all 50 states of the United States. ABT has recently enjoyed triumphant successes with engagements in Paris, Brisbane, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

On April 27, 2006, by an act of Congress, American Ballet Theatre became America's National Ballet Company.

Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, is the largest orchestra formed in the United States in the last 50 years, and is recognized as an outstanding ensemble making strides on both the national and international scene as well as in its own community of Orange County, California. Pacific Symphony offers moving musical experiences with repertoire ranging from the great orchestral masterworks to music from today's most prominent composers, highlighted by the annual American Composers Festival. Pacific Symphony is dedicated to developing and promoting today's composers and expanding the orchestral repertoire - illustrated through its many commissions and recordings, in-depth explorations of American artists and themes. The Symphony's innovative approaches to new works received the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2005 and 2010. In 2010, Pacific Symphony was named one of five orchestras profiled by the League of American Orchestras in a study on innovation. Since 2006, the Symphony has performed in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, designed by Cesar Pelli with acoustics B. Russell Johnson. In March 2006, the Symphony embarked on its first European tour - receiving an unprecedented 22 rave reviews. Pacific Symphony will make its debut at Carnegie Hall in April 2018 as one of two orchestras invited to perform for a yearlong celebration of composer Philip Glass' 80th birthday.


Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an acclaimed arts institution as well as a beautiful multi-disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence, offering unsurpassed experiences and to engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring arts-based education and community engagement programs.

Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center is Orange County's largest non-profit arts organization. In addition to its six performance venues, Segerstrom Center is also home to the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School and the School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities.

The Center presents a broad range of programming for audiences of all ages, including international ballet and dance, national tours of top Broadway shows, jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, free performances open to the public from outdoor movie screenings to dancing on the plaza and many other special events.

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