Local youth dancers perform in Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Press release

Local youth dancers perform in Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Asheville and area youth ages 7 to 16 years perform alongside Moscow Ballet company of 40 professionals in the Great Russian Nutcracker at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium Wednesday, December 11 at 7:30pm. Moscow Ballet’s “Dance with Us” program sends soloists Svetlana Todinova, Natalia Miroshnyk, Carolina Siscanu and Ekaterina Uksusnikova to cities on the 2013 tour in September and October. In each city the soloists audition young local dancers for roles that are exclusive to children and work with them in rehearsal. Center Stage Dance Studio, host dance studio, continues rehearsals until dress rehearsal which is on stage with the full company. Since 1993 Moscow Ballet’s “Dance with Us” program has benefitted young ballet students giving them the rare opportunity of auditioning, rehearsing, and performing with a professional and internationally touring ballet company. “Moscow Ballet offered a once in a lifetime experience. Not only was it exciting for my daughter but it was a growing experience which built her self-confidence and gave us the opportunity to relay the importance of personal commitment to a task.” writes Amy from Danville VA 2012.For tickets go to www.nutcracker.com.

Selected youth dancers in Act I perform as: Party Children Katherine Grace Brown, Caroline Goodson, Sydney Hruska, Emma Kate Jaynes, Aleigha Jones, Megan Lashley, Annie Mcfee and Noelle Yursha. Mice Rachel Blankenship, Emily Eldridge, Lindsey Gulliams, Bethany Hartwell, Angelina Mamo, Hailey Port, Sidney Rowland and Natalie Savage. Snowflakes Sarah Allison, Kelsey Calloway, Grace Kanipe, Mya Kerestes, Jordan Maner, Allie Mason, Payton Messer, Adeline Seuss, Mallory Ray, Danielle Robinson, Tatiana Thonus and Geena Yursha. Snow Maidens Eleanor Baker, Breonna Garey, Summer Hollifield, Emma Mohammed, Kate Nunnally, Sadie Oreck, Anastasia Robinson, Kristin Stenberg, Abby Stewart and Brianna Zimmerman. Dancers in Act II’s variations perform secondary roles as: Spanish Alexandra Schill, Island Shuler, Meredith Brown and Caroline Jones. Chinese Sedon MaCloud, Ava Shelton, Lexi Allen and Kylee Schill. Russian Jalon Blackwell, Marlee Kerestes, Brooklyn and Annika Crutchfield. French Claire Brown and Eden Galloway.

Center Stage Dance Studio has been ‘dancing” since 1979 and offers classes in a variety of styles for children ages 3 to 18. It is Western North Carolina’s top rated dance facility and is unique among dance studios in the area; all faculty hold degrees in dance or early childhood education, have danced with a professional company or maintain membership in Dance Masters of America. Founder Michele Lee remains committed to offering the highest quality dance education to students. The success of Center Stage lies in maintaining positive relationships with students and forming a life-long love of dance. Many former students now bring their children to Center Stage!

Dance with Us includes carefully developed partnerships with ballet studios in each tour city, developed by Mary Giannone Talmi, co-producer of Moscow Ballet’s North American tours. Studio owners offer students personal exposure to the highly trained Russian dancers and to the professional performance experience. Cathy Napolitano-Mucci, of Dance Center North in Syracuse NY, has hosted auditions since the first Great Russian Nutcracker tour in 1993. She remarks, “I know from watching my students grow and advance since the very first Moscow Ballet tour, that this is one of the most significant experiences a young dancer can have. It lifts them up and humbles them all at the same time.” In addition to Dance with Us, Talmi develops other educational programming providing a continuum of educational experiences. Since 2011 Moscow Ballet has presented New Horizons: A Children’s Program for Life for all children, not just dancers, which addresses diet, exercise, and creative expression in youngsters through interactive experiences with Moscow Ballet dancers. Other programming includes 1984 “Cynthia Gregory Celebration Tour” with Just Say No campaign as its official message, and chaired by First Lady Nancy Reagan. Moscow Ballet’s Russian-Cultural Ballet program was produced in nine museums and art institutions across the US and Cinderella Around the World dance and literacy program accompanied Moscow Ballet’s North American tour of Cinderella. The “First International Glasnost Festival Tour” included symposiums, screenings, poetry readings, and more for students and the public at Dartmouth, Yale, and other colleges.


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