Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker, now in its 42nd annual production, returns December 18 through 27 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s sensational score, conducted by Maestro Carmon DeLeone.
The Nutcracker is the beloved holiday story of Clara, a little girl who embarks on a fantastical journey with her Nutcracker Prince through the Land of Sweets, meeting colorful and exciting characters along the way. The holiday favorite saw a re-envisioning in a 2011 world premiere, with new sets by John Ezell, costumes by Carrie Robbins, lighting by Trad A Burns and choreography by Artistic Director & CEO Victoria Morgan.
Frisch’s and Cincinnati Ballet have a long history of collaborating to present the spectacular production, dating back to the first Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker in 1974. Frisch’s Restaurants Inc. championed that production through a generous donation and has sponsored the production every subsequent year.
The Nutcracker production provides the rare opportunity for young dancers to star in the featured roles of Clara and her brother, Fritz. Along with Cincinnati Ballet Academy student Lily Freiberg, currently learning the role of Clara is Gracie Harper, the niece of well-known former Cincinnati Ballet dancers, Jenny Leinberger and Jay Goodlett. This will be both young dancers’ first time dancing the role of Clara. Learning the role of Fritz are Academy students Charlie Klesa and Soren Campagna. Having two male dancers learning the role of Fritz signifies a shift in Academy enrollment, with more males represented than previous years. In seasons past, the male role was frequently danced by a female student costumed as a male, due to a paucity of male ballet students enrolled.
Elementz hip hop studio returns as a collaborator with four talented dancers featured as Mice in the battle scene of The Nutcracker. Elementz recently wowed audiences when they were invited to choreograph and perform their own piece in Cincinnati Ballet’s 2014 Kaplan New Works Series, creating a unique juxtaposition of top ballet dancers performing on the same stage as Cincinnati’s number one hip hop company. Morgan also worked previously with Elementz resident choreographer Derrek Burbridge during the creation of King Arthur’s Camelot, to bring “fluidity and an edge” says Morgan, to the character of the villain Mordred.
Founded in 2001, Elementz operates under the principle of using hip-hop to help inner-city youth find their creative voices and provide an outlet for that creativity, while encouraging personal growth and life successes. Elementz is led by executive director Tom Kent, creative director Abdullah Powell and a dedicated staff of creative professionals.
THE NUTCRACKER COMMUNITY EXPERIENCES
In partnership with Most Valuable Kids of Greater Cincinnati (MVK), Cincinnati Ballet opens its doors to children and their families to view a dress rehearsal for The Nutcracker the evening of December 17. Sponsored by Western & Southern Financial Group and Airheads Candy, this is the second time Cincinnati Ballet has provided families this fun and interactive introduction to ballet. Last season Cincinnati Ballet hosted more than 1,800 attendees at Community Dress Rehearsal for Peter Pan. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in pre-show activities such as a dance class in the lobby and a meet and greet with costumed dancers prior to the rehearsal. For more information on how to request tickets visit MostValuableKids.org.
Cincinnati Ballet will provide an opportunity for patrons to enjoy a Sensory Friendly Nutcracker experience. The December 22 dress rehearsal will accommodate any patrons and children with sensory sensitivities. For more information and how to request admission, please contact Cincinnati Ballet at 513.621.5282.
In the studio: Join us at the Cincinnati Ballet Center (1555 Central Parkway) for a full behind the scenes experience including a performance preview and a conversation with select artists, December 8 at 5:15 pm. RSVP to the Cincinnati Ballet box office at 513.621.5282.
Pre-performance: Cincinnati Ballet invites ticket holders to a pre-show conversation with select dancers, choreographers and designers who bring The Nutcracker to life, December 18 at 6:30 pm in the Procter & Gamble Hall at Aronoff Center. Present your Nutcracker ticket for admission.
The Sugar Plum Parade is an exciting opportunity for Wednesday, December 23 matinee and Saturday, December 26 matinee ticket holders to experience The Nutcracker from the stage itself. Audience members are invited to walk across the stage following the performance, getting a chance to see sets, costumes and dancers up close.
Sponsors of Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker: Frisch’s; The H.B., E.W. & F.R. Luther Charitable Foundation; Airheads Candy; Engaging Dance Audiences
Capital Sponsors for Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker: Frisch’s, The Robert H. Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank Trustee and PNC, Great American Insurance Group, Sheakley, The Anonymous Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Eleanora C. U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank Trustee, James J. & Joan A. Gardner Family Foundation, Sue & Bill Friedlander, Gannett Foundation, The Kroger Company Foundation, Doris M. & Charles B. Levinson Fund, The Louise Taft Semple Foundation, The Corbett Foundation, The Thomas J. Emery Memorial, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Rosemary & Mark Schlachter