On a snowy Christmas Eve, the Stahlbaum family prepares for their annual Christmas party. Clara and Fritz eagerly await the guests and the promise of much dancing and celebration. Among the guests is Godfather Drosselmeyer, an eccentric toymaker, who gives Clara a most magical gift: a Nutcracker doll. Fritz, in a fit of jealousy, breaks the Nutcracker. Drosselmeyer wipes Clara’s tears and bandages the Nutcracker.
Shortly before midnight, Clara tiptoes into the living room to fetch her Nutcracker doll and falls asleep with it in her arms. As the clock strikes twelve, Clara awakens to find herself surrounded by mischievous mice. The house, the tree and the toys appear to be growing larger. Drosselmeyer brings the Nutcracker to life to fight the Rat Queen. Clara pulls the tail of the Rat Queen, allowing the Nutcracker to claim victory and transform into a handsome prince.
Clara and the Nutcracker Prince journey through the Enchanted Snow Forest and arrive in the Land of Sweets. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier greet them and learn of Clara’s bravery in the Nutcracker’s heroic victory. To honor Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy invites all of her subjects to entertain Clara.
The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Sweets bid Clara farewell. Clara awakens in her living room, holding her Nutcracker lovingly in her arms. Was it magic…or was it a dream?
THE STAHLBAUM HOME
Alison Baleno or Saanvi Barat or Caroline Bixler
Alison Baleno or Saanvi Barat
Autumn Boyd, Isla Cavatassi, Medha Sanesh Cholakkal,
Maggie Gasparino, Jennifer Hildebrandt, Seren Jackson,
Kaya Kupfernagel-Outland, Cora Mersereau, Cassidy Norris,
Addie Palmitesso, Antonia Richeson, Lindsey Schoen,
Flora Schultz, Lily Tytler
THE BATTLE SCENE
Evie Rose Jackson
THROUGH THE FOREST
Clara and Snow King
Anna Ackerman and Keith Reeves
INTO THE LAND OF THE SWEETS
Evie Rose Jackson
Claire Ciaccia, Autumn Boyd, Isla Cavatassi, Medha Sanesh
Cholakkal, Maggie Gasparino, Jennifer Hildebrandt, Seren
Jackson, Kaya Kupfernagel-Outland, Cora Mersereau,
Addie Palmitesso, Campbell Smith
Sugar Plum Fairy
Kendall Austin or Killian Beck
Evie Rose Jackson or Claire Smith
Alexis Arria and Keith Reeves
Esme Hughes and Lilah Mondello
Waltz of the Flowers
Flute & piccolo
Oboe & English Horn
Carl Galland, principal
Tyler Thormahlen, principal
Diana Chase, principal
Joseph P. Janover
Koki Tanaka, principal
Lauren Rister, principal
Adrian Jackson, principal
Brian Donat, principal
Nutcracker Chorus under the direction of Vincent Salvadge
Dr. Jared Chase
Anna Ackerman, Company Artist
Anna Ackerman began her dance training in 2015 at Sovereign Ballet in Erie, Pa. She studied under Christina Maria Adelhardt of Boston Ballet and Lake Erie Ballet. Anna participated in summer intensives at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Mercyhurst University. In 2019, she continued her full-time training in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's pre-professional program, where she had the opportunity to perform with the company in The Nutcracker and Beauty and the Beast. She was accepted into Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Graduate Program in 2020 where she had the opportunity to perform principal and sololist student roles that include Marie and Sugar Plum (The Nutcracker), Flower Festival in Genzano, and Pas de trois and Cygnets (Swan Lake). In 2021, she competed in the National Society of Arts and Letters compeition, where she won 1st place regionally and 3rd place nationally. Anna looks forward to her first season with new York State Ballet.
Alexis Arria, Guest Artist
Originally from Demorest, Georgia, Alexis began her studies with the Gainesville School of Ballet for nine years under the direction of Diane Callahan. She has received additional training through summer programs with Naples Ballet Academy, Orlando Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Ballet Academy East in New York City on full scholarship. Before moving to Atlanta, Alexis trained at Orlando Ballet School for three years as a trainee and performed multiple corps de ballet roles alongside the company. She also trained in Atlanta Ballet's conservatory program for three years on full scholarship under the direction of Sharon Story, John Mcfall, and Armando Luna.
As a soloist, she has performed many roles, such as "Clara" in The Nutcracker, "Sugar Plum Fairy," "Aurora" from Sleeping Beauty, "Grahn Variation" from Pas de Quatre, "Kitri" from Don Quixote, "The Queen" in John Mcfall's Sleeping Beauty, "Elsa" in A Frozen Ballet, and "Mina" in Paulo Manso de Sousa's production of Dracula. Alexis joined Fort Wayne Ballet as a Corps de Ballet memeber for their 2020-2021 season. She then moved to Pittsburgh, PA after being hired as a company artist for Confluence Ballet Co for their inaugural season. She is currently dancing at United Ballet Theatre under the direction of Joseph Gatti in Orlando, FL.
Alexis is so excited to be working with NYSB this Nutcracker.
Rena Bernardini, Company Artist
Rena began training at Westchester Ballet Center and soon began performing with Dance Theater of Westchester. She has attended several summer intensives including Interlochen, Ballet Theater of Maryland, Perry Mansfield, and Nashville Ballet. Rena furthered her studies at The Boston Conservatory and later had the opportunity to transfer to The Rambert School in London. While abroad she performed at the Royal Opera House and worked with English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s program. After graduating Rena joined Ballet Theater of Maryland and was a guest artist for The Nutcracker at West Point’s Eisenhower. Rena has also traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua with Juntos Collective and was selected as a Juntos Ambassador. She then joined Fort Wayne Ballet where she served on the Auer Academy faculty and was co-director of the youth company as well as a company dancer. Rena has most enjoyed dancing in Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations and Light Rain. She has also been featured as Swanhilda’s Friend and the Lead Hour Soloist in Coppélia and a Stepsister in Cinderella. Since joining New York State Ballet in 2020, Rena has had the opportunity to perform the Paquita Pas de Trois, Lead Emerald in The Wizard of Oz, and Autumn Fairy from Cinderella among other roles. This is Rena’s third season dancing with New York State Ballet.
Derek Brockington, Guest Artist
Derek is from Holland Michigan, he trained at Grand Rapids Ballet School, Interlochen Arts Academy and attended summer intensives at Ballet West, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Derek is currently in his fifth season with Dance Theatre of Harlem. Derek has also performed professionally with Cincinnati Ballet and Grand Rapids Ballet. His repertoire includes works by Claudia Schreier, Robert Garland, Stanton Welch, George Balanchine, Anabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Darrell Grand Moultrie. Along with Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alexandra Hutchinson, he coordinates the social media for the DTH company.
Katja Rochat, Guest Artist
Katja, born and raised in Switzerland, started dancing at the age of 9 at Ecole de Danse Julie Duruisseau. Upon graduation from the pre-professional program, Katja was accepted into the Orlando Ballet where she had the opportunity to work with Olivier Munoz, Dierdre Miles Burger, Natasha Glos and Kim Marsh. She then obtained a bachelor's degree in dance with a minor in education with Magna Cum Laude at Point Park University. She has had the opportunity to spend her summers dancing at prestigious institutions such as the Boston Ballet, La Scala in Milan, Trinity Laban Conservatory, De Dutch Summer Course, American Ballet Theater, Orlando Ballet, Peridance Capezio Center as well as B12.
Katja danced in the Slowdanger Company in Pittsburgh and was a soloist with the Savannah Ballet Theater in Georgia. She has worked with Kiesha Lalama, Pearlann Porter, Judith Leifer-Bentz, Matteo Corbetta, Kat Wildish, Jason McDole and Matthew Powell, amongst others. She is a ballet and modern dance teacher, as well as a PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique) certified teacher and graduated from the BASI Mat Pilates certification.
In her free time, you will see Katja discovering the world, learning a new language, dancing her way through life and giving the warmest hugs to anybody in need.
Kamala Saara, Guest Artist
Kamala was born in Los Angeles, California and received her early training at the Yuri Grigoriev School of American Ballet. Kamala placed second in the Classical category at the 2016 Youth America Grand Prix in Paris France. She received first place Award for Training and the Performance Scholarship at the 2018 Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Kamala is a recipient of the Grow Annenberg Fellowship and a received a full scholarship for the School of American Ballet, New York City. Kamala is currently in her second season with Dance Theatre of Harlem.
The New York State Ballet is thrilled to have Kamala portray the role of Sugar Plum Fairy!
Angela Wentling, Company Artist
Angela began her training under the direction of her mother, Janet Wentling, and teachers Julianne Deming and Inna Esipova. She has attended summer intensives at Kaatsbaan, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy, and the American Ballet Theater NYC. During her final years as a student, Angela attended the New York State Ballet Training Academy, and later joined the company in 2020 as an apprentice. Angela has had the privilege to work with choreographers Sarah Rothrock-Rickel, Robert Royce, Rebekah Von Rathonyi, Zachary Frazee, and Bonnie Mathis, and has danced many roles in ballets including Paquita, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Snow Queen, the Nutcracker, the Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Don Quixote, and the Firebird. In 2022, Angela was promoted to a soloist rank. She is grateful to be dancing in her third year with the company!
Susan Williams, Guest Artist
Susan began her professional training at Kansas School of Classical Ballet under the instruction of Juan Pablo Trujillo. She attended many summer intensives including Webster University, Oklahoma City Ballet, and Fort Wayne Ballet.
At the age of 16 Susan began her career as an apprentice with Kansas City Contemporary Dance. In 2018 Susan joined Fort Wayne Ballet where she danced for two seasons. While in Fort Wayne she got to perform in productions such as Cinderella, Phantom of the Opera, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and of course the cherished tradition of The Nutcracker. After moving back to Kansas City Susan joined Kansas City Dance Collective where she has had the joy of dancing soloist roles including the "Corpse Bride" in their production of House Haunters.
When Susan isn't dancing she enjoys being on faculty for Kansas City Ballet and passing on this beautiful art form to the next generation of dancers.
Staff and Production
Production Assistant - Janet Wentling
Videography and Publicity Photography - Demian Spindler
Graphic Design - Lisa Gates
Wardrobe Mistress - Pam McMindes
Jim Niger, Professional Instant Press
New York State Ballet Board Members
Katherine Johnson, Founder and Executive Chair
Kara Bosco, Board Member
Jeannine Cruz, Board Member
Miranda Glocker, Board Member
Pam McMindes, Board Member
Claire Mondello, Board Member
American Packaging Corporation
Brighton Securities Wealth Management
Roberts Wesleyan University
The Mondello Family
Office: (585) 203-1763
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