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Young Local Dancers Selected to Perform with Nashville Ballet



Youth Cast of 150 Help Stage Holiday Tradition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 26, 2011) – Nashville Ballet has selected 150 young dancers from across Middle Tennessee and Kentucky to perform as part of the youth cast in its annual presentation of Nashville’s Nutcracker December 9-18 at TPAC’s Jackson Hall in downtown Nashville.

“Dancing in a version of the Nutcracker is the first professional performance experience for most dancers, so our goal is to extend that opportunity to as many aspiring dancers as possible,” Director of Artistic Operations Sharyn Mahoney said. “Even those who have been dancing for years remember the excitement of their first Nutcracker performance.”

Nashville’s Nutcracker will feature the following dancers in their respective roles:

Bedford County: Makenzie Martin as a lamb.

Davidson County: Emily Armstrong as a Native American; Olivia Armstrong as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Gabrielle Bengelsdorf as a mouse; Ayanna Buckner as a mouse; Katie Corkum as a Russian doll; Carrie Lynn Heusinkveld as a bon bon; Madeline Hughes as a Native American; Lyra Jaffe as a Native American; Delaney Jones as a frontier soldier; Angela Manko and Nora Wolfgang as members of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Swasti Mishra and Kailyn Tyler as garden fairies; Anastasia Shostak as a Russian doll; Kelsey Amberson as a frontier soldier; Sarah Bellardo as a party girl; Margaret Cook as a frontier soldier; Emma Davis as a bon bon; Tilley Davis as a lamb; Margot Dupuis as a bon bon; Clara Egan as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Suze Esval as a frontier soldier; Sloan Fridrich as a garden fairy; Elizabeth Haag as a bon bon; Grace Hall as a Native American; Jessica Hanks as a bon bon; Daiqwan Harris as a party boy; Sophie Hughes as a bon bon; Mary Isbell as a bon bon; Audrey Ivester as a mouse; Lloyd Ivester as a party boy; Lili Johnston as Clara; Jillian Kelton as a garden fairy; Megan Murphy as a Native American; Anja Nicholson as a mouse; Maria Osipovich as a garden fairy; Eleanor Rankin as a garden fairy; Bella Grace Riffer as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Margaret Rogers as a Native American; William Rogers as a party boy; Eliana Schneider as a mouse; Sophie Scott as a bon bon; Jaden Smith-Borne as Fritz; Samantha Urban as a frontier soldier; Doneisha Walker as a frontier soldier; Rachel Westerfield as a lamb; Azro-Solan Akimoto as Fritz; Jasmine Blackburn as a garden fairy; Corinne Brockway as a party girl; Gabrielle Edmonds-Andrews as a Native American; Nicole Greer as a party girl; Savanah Lemon as a garden fairy; Adeline Scanlan-Woodson as a mouse; Jaidyn Smart as a mouse; Kevin Tolentino as a party boy; Liliana Tolentino as a lamb; Donnomeachi Brittain as a mouse; Ana Broadhead as a garden fairy; Carrie Anne Cohen as a garden fairy; Liddy Hade as a mouse; Jamie Johns as a Russian doll; Joshua Johns as a party boy; Faith Russell as a bon bon; Anna Schulze as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Avery Taylor as a mouse; Kaitlyn Cook as a Native American; Ciana Griggs as a garden fairy; Anna Truss as a Native American; Emmaline Weedman as a mouse; Sinclaire Williams as a mouse.

Cheatham/Dickson counties: Robby DeHart as a party boy; Caitlyn Magill as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Alyssa Runyeon as a mouse; and Aryen Wise as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry.

Maury County: Dominic Andrews as a party boy.

Robertson County: Saydi Arms as a party girl; Melanie Eilenstine as a lamb; Madeline Jordan and Sydney Jordan as frontier soldiers; Carissa Surber as a garden fairy; Emily Walling as a party girl; Hannah Williams as a Native American.

Rutherford County: Ellie Burns as a lamb; Anju Takizawa as a lamb.

Sumner County: Nalyss Alexander as a mouse; Daniel Goode as a party boy; Madeline Jordan and Sydney Jordan as frontier soldiers; Savannah Payton-Lanius as a garden fairy; Mackenzie Pentecost as a garden fairy; Za Person as a party boy; Miranda Rowe as a mouse; Sarah Beth Rudolph as a garden fairy; Lynn Tucker as a mouse; and Hannah Williams as a Native American.

Williamson County: Ana Antic as a lamb; Ally Barca as a lamb; Monica Bashir as a garden fairy; Corinne Brockway as a party girl; Mia Campbell as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Lillian Dasal as a garden fairy; Catherine Forbes as a garden fairy; Riley Graves as a mouse; Amber Huggett as a lamb; Meagan Irby as a bon bon; SoYeon Jeong as a frontier soldier; Ruby Ketchum as a Russian doll; Yazmyn Lewis as a Russian doll; Anastasia Logozar as a lamb; Joy Looney as a party girl; Kami Miller as a bon bon; Nikunta Piyaket as a garden fairy; Sarah Rosenthal as a Russian doll; Madison Schraw as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Marlee Scott as a mouse; Jasmine Smith as a party girl; Shelby Thayer as a Russian doll; Hannah Trauscht as a mouse; Isabel Webb as a Russian doll; Esabella Wilde as a bon bon; Mary Katherine Beshears as a garden fairy; Hannah Cummings as a Native American; Makenna Ferre as a Russian doll; London Ferre as a garden fairy; Lily Ford as a frontier soldier; Elizabeth Gordon as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Abigail Green as a frontier soldier; Mattie Hayden as a party girl; Deborah Head as a Native American; Josephine Krump as a garden fairy; Allison Stinson as a bon bon; Aleksandra Stone as a garden fairy; Erin Williams as a party girl; Madison Williams as a mouse; Thailiyah Williams as a garden fairy; Clarksville: Aaron Bellofatto as an Arabian man; Adianna Cervantes as a member of Andrew Jackson’s cavalry; Russell Fernandez-Selles as a party boy; Laura Horton as a bon bon; Julia Ridderhoff as a bon bon.

Wilson County: Elianah Vanderschoot as a lamb.

The 150 youth cast members performing in Nashville’s Nutcracker were selected from community-wide open auditions of young people from the School of Nashville Ballet and other schools of dance throughout Tennessee.

They will perform alongside 22 members of Nashville Ballet’s professional company and 25 members of its second company in this local version of the holiday classic.

“This version of the traditional holiday story celebrates Nashville’s rich history and personality, complete with characters inspired by well-known local residents,” Artistic Director and CEO Paul Vasterling said. “It incorporates President Andrew Jackson, former Vanderbilt University Chancellor James Kirkland and Nashville actress Lucille La Verne, who provided the voice of the witch in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Two casts of young dancers will alternate performances to tell the story of young Clara’s magical journey, which starts at the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville where she meets an exotic cast of characters from far-away lands displaying their native wares. It is there that her magical Uncle Drosselmeyer promises her a very special gift—a wooden Nutcracker.

After Clara receives her special gift, she falls asleep and the Nutcracker comes to life to guide her through a fantastic dream. They visit a series of magical worlds and encounter an array of diverse characters she previously saw at the Centennial Exposition, in addition to the Snow Queen and King and the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

Vasterling’s updated version of the annual tradition debuted with original concept and choreography as Nashville’s Nutcracker in 2008.

Nashville’s Nutcracker will be held at TPAC’s Jackson Hall for 10 performances:

Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Friday, December 16 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Nashville’s NutcrackerFootnotes Presentation -- TPAC’s Tier Level Lobby
Ticket holders are invited to attend a storytime event 30 minutes before the performance that will help them understand the ballet. Get a list of exciting and important details to look for during the performance and learn a little about the history of the ballet that is unique to Nashville and the holiday season.

Ticket Information
Season tickets for Nashville Ballet’s 2011-2012 performance season are on sale at www.nashvilleballet.com. For season ticket information, contact Heather Cramsie at (615) 297-2966 x23. Groups of 10 or more can receive a discount by calling (615) 297-2966 x10.

About Nashville Ballet
Nashville Ballet is the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee. Nashville Ballet presents a varied repertoire of classical ballet and contemporary works by noted choreographers, including original works by Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling. Nashville Ballet and the second company NB2 (a pre-professional training company) serve nearly 70,000 adults and children annually through performances and our outreach and community engagement programming. Curriculum-based outreach programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. The School of Nashville Ballet provides world-class instruction in ballet and other forms of dance for dancers of all ages.

Nashville Ballet is funded in part from grants made available through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Funding from the Ingram Charitable Fund supports the presentation of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for most performances.  Additional funding is also provided by The Shubert Foundation, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, HCA Tri-Star, Sun Trust, ELAN Hair / ELAN Skin, Caterpillar Financial, The Memorial Foundation and Publix Super Market Charities.  

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