New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet Returning to Centenary Stage Company with THE NUTCRACKER

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The New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet returns to Centenary Stage Company for the holidays with THE NUTCRACKER.

There's magic in the air and sparkle in every smile when Nutcracker comes to town! Over 50 talented dancers and actors from Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties have earned roles in the New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet's production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. The company's Nutcracker is unique because it's narrated by Hadley DeGregoris who tells the story from the perspective of twelve-year-old Clara Stahlbaum.

Your theatre ticket becomes an invitation to Dr. and Mrs. Stahlbaum's Christmas Party. As the theater darkens, and some of the world's most beautiful music plays, Clara takes you on a storybook adventure. At the family's annual Christmas party, Clara's Godfather, Drosselmeyer, danced by Vitaly Verterich, (former soloist with the Moscow Ballet), presents his magic show of dancing dolls, and marionettes, mesmerizing each quest. He has gifts for all... Ah, but only one touches Clara's heart, an ugly Nutcracker. As Clara falls asleep under the beautiful Christmas tree the noise of mice wake her. To save Clara, the Nutcracker toy and his army, battle the giant Mouse King. A spell is broken and the ugly Nutcracker turns into a handsome prince, and travels with Clara through an enchanted forest to his spectacular palace. What happens to Clara and her prince? Don't miss this exciting fairy tale of a child's most unforgettable Christmas. This delightful story engages the audience from the first scene to the very last moment. Through Clara's narration, young children understand a fanciful fairytale, while the rest of us realize that this is truly a story of life, love and the holiday spirit.

The coveted role of Clara will danced by Emma Crow of Hackettstown. This is Ms. Crow's second appearance as Clara. Crow was a finalist at the World Ballet Competition held in Orlando, Florida. Guest artist Lyrica Woodruff is an alumni of the School of American Ballet, NYC, and has performed in the "Little Dancer" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. with five time Tony award winner director/choreographer Susan Stroman. Woodruff has appeared in numerous television commercials, has had a recurring role for two years on "Boston Public," guest starred in "Private Practice," and "Bunheads." Woodruff will share the role of Sugar Plum with Michelle Quiner of Chester. Ms. Quiner was featured as the dancer you should know in the July/August issue of the national publication Dance Spirit Magazine. Quiner has also been a finalist in the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, and an invited guest artist at the YAGP Gala in NYC. Previous main roles have included Clara for the NJCYB, and Clara for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Nashville, at the Grand Ole Opry House. Eddy Tovar joins the company this year and will dance the role of Cavalier. A native of Cuba, Eddy began his dance training at the National Ballet School in Havana. Mr. Tovar was a Principal Dancer with Texas Ballet Theatre from 2009-2012. Prior to this he was principal with Orlando Ballet for nine years. Internationally, Mr. Tovar has performed in ballet galas in Japan, Canada, Argentina and Latvia. He was the recipient of several gold medals for dance competitions in Argentina, Brazil and Cuba. In 2008, he appeared on the television program "So You Think You Can Dance" performing the principal role in George Balanchine's "Who Cares?" Mr. Tovar currently teaches company classes for Pennsylvania Ballet.

For millions of Americans, it wouldn't be Christmas without seeing a production of The Nutcracker. Treat your family and friends to this unique holiday tale. As the ballet unfolds, listen closely to the story of a most magical night.

Performances are at the beautiful Sitnik Theatre, located in the Lackland Center at Centenary College in Hackettstown, Dec. 18 at 7:00, Dec. 19 at 2:00 & 7:00, and Dec. 20 at 3:00. This performance of the Nutcracker is appropriate for children ages 4 - 104. For tickets call the box office at 908-979-0900 or purchase online at .

The 2015-16 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

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