LPCA celebrates the holiday season with ‘The Nutcracker’

LAKE PLACID – The Lake Placid Center for the Arts will present the holiday favorite “The Nutcracker” in collaboration with the North Country Ballet Ensemble. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $16 for students and seniors, and $12 for children 12 and under. To make advance reservations for this show, call the LPCA Box Office at 518-523-2512 or online at www.lakeplacidarts.org.

“The Nutcracker”

In this its 28th season, the North Country Ballet Ensemble’s “The Nutcracker” will surprise audiences with many visually exciting new directions. Alice Schonbek, in her second season as Artistic Director, continues to commission makeovers of key aspects of “The Nutcracker.” Two New York City guest choreographers, Rebecca Kelly and Michela Boschetto, continue their long-term relationship with the NCBE. Kelly has created a new Spanish Variation in the style of the Aragonian Region of Spain and Boschetto has developed a new Waltz of the Flowers Variation. They are joined by resident Choreographer Terpsie Toon, who has re-envisioned new Angels choreography as well as a new Soldier Dance in the Act 1 Party Scene. These three choreographers form the NCBE creative team. Also noteworthy again this year is the unprecedented extent of community participation and support, with a cast of 75 local student dancers and 12 community members to entertain audiences.

Joining them will be outstanding New York City professional dancers. Therese Wendler, an eight-year veteran of the NCBE “The Nutcracker” and a principal dancer with Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, and Dances Patrelle, will dance the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy as well as the Queen of the North Winds in the Snow variation. Mikhail Ilyin, returning to the North Country for a third time will perform in the role of Cavalier. Ilyin,a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, danced with Miami City Ballet, Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. He received his early training at the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy and danced with Boston Ballet before becoming a soloist with Miami City Ballet in 2001. He was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2003 and moved to ABT in 2008.

Veda Bingel of Plattsburgh will dance the role of Claire, while Harvey Runyon, of Lake Placid, will perform as Fritz. We welcome back the magical Jason Borrie as Uncle Drosselmeyer.

The NCBE graduates two seniors this season, Jennifer Durfey of Tupper Lake and Samantha Johnson of Peru. Durfey will dance the roles of North Wind in the Snow Scene, Spanish, Arabian, and Dew Drop in Waltz of the Flowers. NCBE is pleased to welcome Samantha Johnson back into the cast after a five-year hiatus. Samantha will perform as the Au Pair in the Party Scene in Act 1, and in the Russian Variation in Act 2.

Erika Guay, of the SUNY Plattsburgh Theater Department, will provide the lighting design.