Santa Monica, California
Phone: (310) 828-2018
For over 40 years, audiences have thrilled to Westside Ballet’s lavish productions of The Nutcracker. From the moment the lights dim, you’ll be transported with Clara to a magical world filled with a Christmas tree that grows to the ceiling, menacing mice, a dashing prince who takes her through the land of the dancing snowflakes, replete with falling snow led by the shimmering Snow Queen.
As the curtain rises on the second act, angels in clouds welcome Clara and her Prince to the Land of the Sweets where she meets the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy. Clara is entertained by Spanish chocolate, Arabian coffee, Peppermints, Chinese tea, marzipan Mirlitons and more as they each dance for her.
Small Polichinelles pop out from underneath Mother Ginger’s giant skirt and flowers waltz around the delicate Dew Drop Fairy before the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier dance for Clara and send her off.
Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and the Marius Petipa classic, this is the complete, traditional ballet, from the Victorian-style party scene to the glittering Sugar Plum Fairy.
A visually stunning production by and for the community it serves, Westside’s The Nutcracker features young dancers from our schoool performing alongside acclaimed adult professional guest artists. “Each year the students aspire to new roles,” says Martine Harley, WSB’s artistic director. “As they grow up in the school and improve as dancers, new faces grace the roles and keep the production fresh.”
The 2016 production also welcomes several new young male cast members from Westside School of Ballet’s Boys Division.
Performed at the intimate Broad Stage at SMC Performing Arts Center, with the Santa Monica College Symphony Orchestra, made possible through the generosity of the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute, playing Tchaikovsky’s majestic score… it’s a holiday experience you won’t want to miss!
The professional level of dance, along with Tchaikovsky’s beautiful and majestic score performed live, provides the perfect opportunity to introduce children to classical music and dance.
We are proud to announce the casting of Sugar Plum Fairy artists for the 2016 season. Both dancers received their formative training here at Westside School of Ballet.
Santa Monica High School senior, Molly Novak, who debuted as the Sugar Plum Fairy in 2015, has danced every featured role in Westside Ballet’s The Nutcracker from her earliest role as a Polichinelle to Clara, the Snow Queen and the Dew Drop Fairy.
Alternating with Ms. Novak is Shelby Tzung, from Palisades High and 2016 Winner of the prestigious Spotlight Award for Classical Ballet.
Westside also welcomes back resident guest artists Evan Swenson (formerly with Houston Ballet), Seth Belliston (formerly with Pacific Northwest Ballet) and Johnny Zhong (formerly with Classical Ballet of Guangzhou).
Read about the many opportunities created by Westside Ballet’s outreach program to introduce children to the magic of ballet.
Westside Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker is a Los Angeles tradition dating all the way back to 1973 – the longest running Nutcracker production in Los Angeles.
As featured in the Los Angeles Times, the artistic direction captures the spirit of the legendary George Balanchine, passed on by Yvonne Mounsey, who created the Nutcracker role of Center Spanish during the peak of her career as principal dancer with New York City Ballet.
“Ours is very true to the story as is reflected in the music and the spirit,” says Caprice Walker, Associate Artistic Director of Westside’s Nutcracker. “We have all of the elements that audiences look for – the falling snow, a Christmas tree that grows, and that magical moment when the Polichinelles pop out from under Mother Ginger’s skirt.”
Westside Ballet of Santa Monica Nutcracker Trailer from Westside Ballet on Vimeo. Special thanks to Drew Roublick for producing this video.
Westside TV gave this exciting preview of WSB’s The Nutcracker in 2015 with commentary by Artistic Director Martine Harley.
For three years in a row, the Times has run features on The Nutcracker:
Many promising dancers make their stage debuts in Westside Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Previous Productions highlights some of the many dancers who went on to professional careers, including Monique Meunier (NYCB, ABT),
Anna Liceica, (ABT) Martine Harley (Houston Ballet), Melissa Barak (NYCB, Los Angeles Ballet, Barak Ballet), Andrew Veyette (NYCB), Stayce Camparo (Kansas City Ballet) and Francis Veyette (Pennsylvania Ballet).