Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and The Fairfax Ballet Join Forces for THE NUTCRACKER
On Saturday, December 16 at 4pm at George Mason University Center for the Arts, two, premier, Fairfax County arts institutions - the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) and The Fairfax Ballet - come together to present the holiday masterpiece, The Nutcracker.
The Fairfax production is one of few Washington metropolitan area Nutcracker productions to feature live musical accompaniment and professional dancers. Audiences will delight in The Fairfax Ballet's magical dance performance with original choreography, as the Fairfax Symphony, under the direction Christopher Zimmerman, performs Tchaikovsky's captivating score.
"We're delighted to collaborate with The Fairfax Ballet to present this treasured tradition of the season," said Jonathan Kerr, Executive Director, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. "From the incredible dancers on stage, the live orchestra music, and high definition, all-digital scenery, it's sure to be one of the most unique events of the season."
The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and The Fairfax Ballet showcase renowned guest artists, and professional and community musicians and dancers from the Washington metropolitan area, across the country, and around the world.
Featured Dancers: From NYC, Fairfax, Baltimore, and Beyond
The Fairfax Ballet, at home at The Russell School of Ballet, was established in 1971 to develop in each student a love of dance, a strong technical foundation, and an artistic education. Company dancers, along with students from The Russell School of Ballet and professional guest artists, are poised to take the stage with this entertaining classic.
This third, anniversary collaboration between the FSO and The Fairfax Ballet features two principal soloists from the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) performing lead roles. Lindsey Croop will dance the role of Sugar Plum and Anthony Santos will dance the role of Cavalier.
"We're honored to join the Fairfax Symphony for our third, exciting production at GMU's Center for the Arts," said Karla Petry, Executive Director of The Fairfax Ballet and owner of The Russell School of Ballet. "Audiences are in for a treat as we welcome our special guest artists from DTH to join our outstanding professional dancers and talented students."
Croop is entering her fourth season with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and was recently honored as a featured artist for the opening for the One World Trade Center grand opening. A firm believer in art's ability to break down barriers, she draws inspiration from the rich cultural and balletic legacy of her surroundings. In an age where African American ballerina's like Misty Copeland are pioneering for acceptance in a traditional art form, Croop uses her spotlight to connect with the community and promote diversity.
Santos, born in New York City, began his dance training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (2009-2013) working with Adrienne Hurd, Pedro Ruiz and Kristen McGrew among others. His summer intensives included Joffrey Ballet, Jacob's Pillow, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet, all on full merit scholarships. He is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Susan Jaffe. While at UNCSA, he performed works by Susan Jaffe, Doug Varone, Ton Simmons, Lucinda Childs, Brenda Daniels, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, and Sasha Janes. This is Santos' first season with DHT.
Aaron Canfield, formerly of MOMIX in CT and originally from Baltimore, will debut in the role of the Nutcracker Prince. Canfield received his training from Southwest Virginia Ballet with Pedro Szalay, Post School of Ballet with Terri Post, New Castle School of Dance with Sandra Smeltzer, Elie Lazar, and Todd Allen, and was a Trainee with the Richmond Ballet for two years.
Aleksey Kudrin, debuting in the role of Herr Drosselmeier, was born in Perm, Russia and trained at the Perm State Choreographic Academy. In Russia, he danced with the Grigorovich Ballet of Russia, under the legendary Yuri Grigorovich. After coming to the U.S., Kudrin danced with the Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Columbia Classical Ballet in SC, and Manassas Ballet Theater. He has been teaching in Northern Virginia since 2005.
Additional local, professional artists starring in the performance include: Amr Farouk (originally from Egypt), Marcela Figueroa (originally from Chile), Ariane Georg and Naomi Widelski.
Sixteen-year old student and Fairfax Ballet member, Ana Victoria Smith (of Clifton, VA), will dance the role of Clara. This is Smith's third year with the Company. The choreography is one of the most complex theatrical ballets in the Company's repertory and performing with the live orchestra presents a unique opportunity for the young dancers.
The Story and Music
Tchaikovsky composed the music in 1816 based on a popular book titled, 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse-King.' The story begins on Christmas Eve in the home of two young children, Clara and Fritz. The family is gathered around the Christmas tree. Soon, they welcome the arrival of Uncle Drosselmeier, a toymaker with gifts in tow, and we begin to see the transition from reality into fantasy. Over the course of the performance, we see the complete transformation and relish in waltzing snowflakes, a handsome prince, and some mischievous mice, as the toys come to life for a night the children will never forget.
Tchaikovsky's music is vivid and colorful, stirring the imagination and taking us on a magical journey. From the elegant Waltz of the Flowers, the exotic, Arabian pas de deux, and thrilling Candy Canes and gingerbread dances, the show is a feast of delightful melodies and exciting dance performances. A memorable highlight among audiences takes place in the Land of the Sweets with the unforgettable dance solo of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Despite Tchaikovsky's initial reservations when it first premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892, the Nutcracker has become a perennial, holiday favorite, with bold new interpretations each year. Today, The Nutcracker is a not-to-miss performance as millions of "children" of all ages and around the world experience its magic each year. The Fairfax production is one such event, as children and families fill the Concert Hall at George Mason's Center for the Art to delight in this unforgettable tradition of the season.
ABOUT THE FAIRFAX SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Fairfax Symphony was founded in 1957 by Dorothy Farnham Feuer, an amateur violinist and homemaker, presenting its first public concert on November 11, 1957. Since 1971, the orchestra has transformed into the organization that it is today: a professional orchestra that performs concerts throughout Fairfax County and provides a wide spectrum of educational and community outreach programs. The FSO annually reaches over 10,000 people of all ages and ethnicities in Northern Virginia and surrounding areas. Entering its 60th season this fall, the FSO maintains its reputation as one of the finest regional orchestras in the country. Christopher Zimmerman is Music Director and Conductor and Jonathan Kerr serves as Executive Director.
ABOUT THE FAIRFAX BALLET
The Fairfax Ballet, a 501(c)(3) non-profit performing arts organization, was established more than 50 years ago to develop in each student a love of dance, a strong technical foundation, and an artistic education. As one of the longest-running ballet companies in Northern Virginia, The Fairfax Ballet has trained exceptional dancers, who have gone on to study and perform at some of the finest ballet companies, including the New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Basel Ballet, and Monte Carlo Ballet. Margaret Virkus is the Artistic Director and Karla Petry serves as Executive Director.
ABOUT LINDSEY CROOP OF DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
Lindsey [Pitts] Croop is entering her fourth season with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. A firm believer in art's ability to break down barriers, Croop draws inspiration from the rich cultural and balletic legacy of her surroundings. And in an age where African American ballerina's like Misty Copeland are pioneering for acceptance in a traditional art form, Croop uses her spotlight to connect with the community and promote diversity. While touring the world with DTH, Croop has grown from her artistic exchange with resident choreographer Robert Garland, performing lead roles for him in "New Bach" and "Return."
Croop also performed in works from Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Ulysses Dove, and Nacho Duato. Under the mentorship of Charla Genn, she stretched herself with DTH's broad and demanding new works from nationally acclaimed choreographers Donald Byrd and Darrell Grand Moultrie. Croop holds degrees in Dance-Arts Administration and Journalism from Butler University where she graduated cum laude. Croop was originally from Texas and by the age of 11, she joined Midland Festival Ballet where she trained under Susan Clark, followed by intensives with Milwaukee, Orlando and Atlanta Ballets. Following her collegiate career, she began her professional career with Nashville Ballet before following her dreams to New York City. Croop was recently honored as a featured artist for the One World Trade Center grand opening. For more about Lindsay Croop of Dance Theater of Harlem - visit her website HERE
ABOUT ANTHONY SANTOS OF DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
Anthony Santos recently joined Dance Theatre of Harlem. He was born in New York City and began his dance training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2009-2013, working with Adrienne Hurd, Pedro Ruiz and Kristen McGrew among others. Summer intensives include Joffrey Ballet, Jacob's Pillow, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet, all on full merit scholarships. Santos graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Susan Jaffe. While at UNCSA, he performed works by Susan Jaffe, Doug Varone, Ton Simmons, Lucinda Childs, Brenda Daniels, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, and Sasha Janes. He has a background in musical theater, singing, and tap dance and has performed with Zest Collective and Caitlin Trainor Dance in NYC.
IF YOU GO:
Saturday, December 16, 4 PM
TCHAIKOVSKY: THE NUTCRACKER
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Zimmerman, Music Director and Conductor
The Fairfax Ballet
Margaret Virkus, Artistic Director
Featuring Guest Soloists
Lindsey Croop and Anthony Santos of Dance Theatre of Harlem
George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030
Tickets $39, $53, $65. To purchase tickets online, visit www.fairfaxsymphony.org or by phone at 888-945-2468. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the GMU Center for the Arts box office, Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm.