Excerpts from The Victorian Nutcracker: the Portland Ballet

Ogunquit Performing Arts celebrates the holiday season on Sunday December 6, 2015, 3 pm at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street in Ogunquit, with the presentation of dancers from the Portland Ballet in a program featuring excerpts from ”The Victorian Nutcracker” PLUS a dance demonstration and commentary about dance classes and barre work.  Children are welcome to interact with the dancers following the presentation.

The Victorian Nutcracker

Ogunquit Performing Arts presents the Portland Ballet on Sunday afternoon, December 6, 2015 at 3 pm at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street in Ogunquit in a program of excerpts from “The Victorian Nutcracker” plus dance demonstrations and commentary. Reception will follow the performance. Admission is $5 at the door.

The Dunaway Center, 23 School Street in Ogunquit, at 3 pm on Sunday, December 6, will be the setting for a very special program presented by the Portland Ballet as a select company of about a dozen dancers in full costume performs excerpts from “The Victorian Nutcracker” (which opens in Portland area the following week.) In addition, the dancers will provide an up-close demonstration of their dance classes and barre work narrated by Roberto Forleo, Director of the Portland School of Ballet CORPS program, who will talk about the content that inspired these pieces and the technique and training required to perform them. Children are welcome and may be invited from the audience to chat with the dancers and try out a few dance steps. Admission is $5 payable at the door. There are no advance ticket sales.

In 1891, following the presentations of “Swan Lake” and “Sleeping Beauty”, composer Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky was commissioned to compose a double-bill program featuring both an opera and a ballet. Alexandre Dumas Père’s adaption of the nutcracker story by E.T.A. Hoffman was set to music by Tchaikovsky and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa. The first concert presentation of “The Nutcracker” in 1892 was a success, although the ballet itself took longer to take hold. Over the years “The Nutcracker” has become a favorite presentation of ballet companies around the world.

The Portland Ballet’s production of “The Victorian Nutcracker” recreates the interior of Portland’s Victoria Mansion and interprets Tchaikovsky’s score through stories of Portland’s nineteenth-century families. This performance is unique among Nutcracker performances across the nation.

Ogunquit Performing Arts and Portland Ballet have enjoyed a long history of collaboration, as OPA has presented many performances by the company in Ogunquit over the years. OPA is especially delighted to welcome them back during this holiday season!

The Portland Ballet is actually 2 entities: a school and professional dance company, both of which are involved in the company’s performances.   The CORPS program of the school is a pre-professional performing arts high school curriculum that is unique in the State of Maine. Qualified students are granted early release from regular classes to Portland School of Ballet for three hours of daily intensive study in ballet, kinesiology, nutrition, and stagecraft. Participants earn transcript credit in Health, Physical Education, and Fine Arts.

This family-friendly “sneak preview” of excerpts of the formal presentation of the Portland Ballet’s “The Victorian Nutcracker” will be performed at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street, on Sunday afternoon December 6, 2015 at 3 pm. The performance will take about an hour with time afterwards for children to interact with the dancers and enjoy a reception with refreshments. Admission is $5 per person at the door. There will be no advance sales.

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