CHARLESTON, W.VA. - The Charleston Ballet and The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will present THE NUTCRACKER on December 9 at 7:30 p.m. and December 10 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. These performances will feature over seventy five local dancers and guest artists from The Charleston Ballet ( Kim Pauley, Artistic Director) accompanied by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Grant Cooper. Three performances will take place at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia.
This production is the only one in the area with a full live orchestra - a one-of-a-kind experience for local audiences.
The Nutcracker will feature guest dancers from the Columbia Classical Ballet in South Carolina. Olivier Wecxsteen will return to play the role of Drosselmeyer. Local artist Ted Brightwell will appear as Mother Ginger, Brigette Madden will be dancing the role of Clara, and students from the American Academy Ballet will join artists of The Charleston Ballet to complete this wonderful cast.
The Nutcracker is sponsored by Appalachian Power, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Thomas Health System and WCHS-TV.
Tickets start at $24 for adults and $12 for children under 12 and are available through the Clay Center Box Office, 304-561-3570. Tickets may also be ordered online at wvsymphony.org and theclaycenter.org .
The Charleston Ballet, the official West Virginia State Ballet, was formed in 1956 by Andre Van Damme. Mr. Van Damme achieved great success in his native Belgium as the first star dancer with the Royal Opera. His vision was to provide state experience in a professional atmosphere for West Virginia dancers and to create a greater appreciation for the art of ballet. The company has been a pioneer among regional ballet troupes in the United States.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary last year, the company has enriched the cultural life of the state with hundreds of traditional and original ballets. Kim Pauley became artistic director in 1989, becoming one of the very few women directors nationally of a regional ballet. The company has a reputation of high- quality professional performances, artistic integrity and strong social conscience.
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra is West Virginia's premier performing arts organization, presenting classical, pops, family and chamber-music concerts annually throughout the Mountain State. Currently in its 78th season, the WVSO is a proud member of the community and enriches the region by providing affordable, high-quality concerts, collaborations with West Virginia arts organizations and a nationally award-winning education program.