Performances of The Nutcracker officially kick off this weekend at the Schaeffer Auditorium in Kutztown marking the ballet company’s 47th season. The company will perform the holiday classic with the accompaniment of the Reading Pops Orchestra.
Aaron Smyth, a well-known dancer hailing from Los Angeles will join the company in the ballet’s leading male position. Smyth is best known for his associations with American Ballet Theatre II In New York, The Royal Ballet in London and The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago as well as being an original cast member in London’s West End production of An American In Paris.
Smyth also played the role of the Snow Cavalier in Disney’s The Nutcracker in the Four Realms feature film dancing with Misty Copeland. Additionally, Smyth appeared on two series of the Got Talent franchise, coming third in Australia and making the quarter finals in America.
Other notable cast members include Alexandra Pullen as the Sugar Plum Fairy (a Los Angeles-based dancer formerly with American Ballet Theatre and Colorado Ballet), Francis Lawrence as the Snow King (a New York-based dancer who recently toured with An American In Paris in Australia), and Daniel Mayo as Drosselemeyer (a Philadelphia-based professional ballet dancer and instructor).
BBT’s Artistic Director, Kelly Barber and Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer, Nathan Bland, are co-choreographing the ballet with 20 company dancers and 30 students from the company’s namesake, Berks Ballet Theatre Conservatory of Dance.
BBT company soloists in this year’s Nutcracker include, Ellie Folga (a Wyomissing Area High School senior) and Jessica Bealer (a Reading High School Junior) who will share the role of Snow Queen; Christina Kopecky (an Exeter High School Senior) will dance the role of Mouse Queen; Kaia Kantner (a Berks Catholic High School senior) will dance the role of Trepak; and three young dancers, Colette Jordan, Maeve Keeler, and Hennessey Kehs-Rossi, will share the coveted role of Clara.
The 2022-23 season brings new energy to the entire Southeastern, Pa. region with an equipped cast, a new performance location and more chances to see the show. Still, BBT’s anticipated production brings the staples—dazzling costumes, larger-than-life-set pieces, and originality—audiences have grown to love and expect.
BBT’s The Nutcracker is a wonderful holiday tradition that marks the start of the holiday season in our area! Area residents need not travel far to experience the magic of live ballet.
All four performances will take place at Schaeffer Auditorium located at 15200 Kutztown Rd, Kutztown, PA 19530, December 17 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., and December 18 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
For tickets and additional information, visit BerksBalletTheatre.com or call (610) 373-7577.