The Nutcracker Ballet Returns to Seaside Nov 21

November 18, 2015 by SoWal Staff

The Merchants of Seaside will host the 4th annual Nutcracker ballet to be performed by Northwest Florida area dancers and Ballet Pensacola. The Nutcracker performance has become a beautiful holiday tradition in the town of Seaside in South Walton, Fla. The one-time performance is free and open to the public Saturday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. in the Seaside Amphitheater.

The Nutcracker in Seaside is under the direction of Ballet Pensacola Artistic Director and General Manager Richard Steinert. Known for his innovative and collaborative style of theatre and dance, Steinert has worked in repertory companies throughout the United States. Since his inaugural season as artistic director in 2007, he has held the attention of the ballet and arts community through a series of critically acclaimed performances and projects directed at broadening the experience of the dance enthusiast.

“From dancing candy canes to sparkling fairies and snow, the whimsy of the Nutcracker performance in Seaside will create wonderful memories for every member of the family,” said Steinert. “With more than 25 years of experience presenting ‘The Nutcracker,’ Ballet Pensacola is excited to bring this new experience to the artists and patrons of Seaside.”

Featuring Acts I and II, the Nutcracker in Seaside will last approximately an hour. Set to a score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, the performance will feature approximately 30 Ballet Pensacola ballerinas and 10 local dancers, ages 8 to 18. 

The first Nutcracker in Seaside was performed in 2012 when Seaside co-founder and patron of the Arts Daryl Davis invited Alpharetta Dance Theatre dancers to perform the Nutcracker with the Dance Academy of Seaside Neighborhood School. There was standing room only for that first performance which ignited the holiday spirit in the hearts of those who now view the event as an area tradition. In September, auditions were held for Northwest Florida dancers, ages 8 to 18, from Pensacola to Panama City who wanted to dance in this year’s performance. 

Seleta Hayes Howard, Nutcracker Ballet Mistress and Special Projects Director has been rehearsing the Northwest Florida area dancers since September. “We are grateful for the support of Daryl Davis, who is dedicated to bringing the Arts into our community. Participating in the Nutcracker ballet in Seaside provides area dancers with a platform in which to improve their confidence, discipline, and dance skills for both presenting material and working toward a goal. This gives them a great sense of achievement as well as skills they will use in all life situations. It is an honor to share in this magical, cultural experience with our community and region.” 

“Seaside’s Nutcracker has become a beloved holiday tradition for this community, and Ballet Pensacola is honored to be part of this classic production for the first time,” said Ballet Pensacola Director of Development and Marketing Courtney Dell. “Featuring talented dancers from Northwest Florida and professionals from around the globe, this year’s production is sure to surprise and delight the audience.”
In case of inclement weather, the performance will be held on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. at the Lyceum Lawn next to the Seaside Neighborhood School.


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