Northwest Florida Ballet Presents The Nutcracker Nov 21-23

November 13, 2014 by SoWal Staff

This November the Northwest Florida Ballet (NFB) will once again grace the stage with visions of dancing sugar plums, graceful snow flurries, and magical dolls in its 35th annual presentation of The Nutcracker Nov. 21-23, 2014. This year’s production will feature live orchestral accompaniment provided by Sinfonia Gulf Coast.

As an added touch of holiday magic Sinfonia Gulf Coast director Demetrius Fuller will be providing live orchestral accompaniment. This will mark the first time in over a decade that NFB has had live music to accompany any of their performances. “We are honored to present Demetrius Fuller and Sinfonia Gulf Coast at this year’s performances as we bring live music back to the Nutcracker,” says Todd Eric Allen, Creative Director and CEO of NFB. “We have started a ‘Live Music Fund’ in the hope that we can eventually raise enough funding to provide live music for all of our performances. This is an exciting time for us and for our audience!” 

Three performances will be held at on the main stage at Mattie Kelly Arts Center on November 21st at 7:30 pm, November 22nd at 7:30 pm, and November 23rd at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $35 for adults and $17 for children 12 and under. Tickets will be available for purchase online at or by calling the box office at 850-664-7787. 

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is located on the Northwest Florida State College Niceville campus. All the 1,650 seats in the main theater at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center are no more than 90 feet from the stage - making every seat in the $25 million state-of-the-art performance venue the best seat in the house!

The Nutcracker has been an annual favorite for thousands of families all over the world. Although it was first performed to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s captivating score in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892, the first American production of the ballet wasn’t introduced until 1944 when Willem Christensen staged it for the San Francisco Ballet. Ten years later George Balanchine immortalized The Nutcracker with his famous production at the New York City Ballet which featured an immense Christmas tree magically rising from the stage during the first act. Since that time The Nutcracker has become the most widely attended ballet in America.

So why do families keep coming back to see The Nutcracker year after year? “There is really nothing like it to give you the holiday spirit and to make unique memories that will last forever,” Allen explains. “Every year we see generations of families that come to share the experience with each other. It’s a celebration of childhood fantasy and the power of human imagination and that is something everyone can relate to.”

The production has a cast of over 100 dancers which includes many local children, NFB Company members and an impressive array of international guest artists in addition to Santana and Gatti. The role of Clara will be danced by NFB Apprentice Camille Loftis, and NFB Trainee Zachary Nordheim will play the part of the high-spirited Fritz. NFB Corps de Ballet member Jonathan Carer will perform the role of the Harlequin Doll, and Corps members Ellie Borick and Brooklyn Burbidge will perform the role of the Columbine Doll. Corps members Courtney Shealy and Ella Brummett will perform the role of Snow Queen, with Shealy also dancing as the Dew Drop Fairy. Sean Hilton, J Ryan Carroll and Billy Blanken will round out the cast of international guest artists with their portrayals of The Nutcracker Prince, Snow King, Spanish, Russian, and Arabian dancers.

In addition to its three public performances, NFB will also present two performances for area school children and special needs groups. These performances are part of NFB’s Education and Outreach services and will be held on November 20th and 21st at 10:00 am.   



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