New York Dance Theatre of Commack marks 40th season of ‘The Nutcracker’

New York Dance Theatre of Commack marks 40th season of ‘The Nutcracker’

From left, Claire DeVaney, Sonya Russo, Aviva Hellman, and Eileen Huntsman. Photo courtesy of New York Dance Theatre

Local young dancers will share the stage with New York City Ballet stars Indiana Woodward and Daniel Ulbricht in New York Dance Theatre’s 40th season of “The Nutcracker” at Hofstra University, 1000 Hempsteak Turnpike, Hempstead on Dec. 17 and 18 with performances at noon and 5 p.m. Woodward will perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Ulbricht will perform as her Cavalier. 

The young dancers, students at the Ohman School of Ballet in Commack, will perform multiple roles in the iconic holiday story ballet including children in the Party Scene, Toy Soldiers and Mice in the Battle Scene, Snowflakes, Angels, and various confections in the Land of Sweets.

Aviva Hellman, a seventh grader at West Hollow Middle School in Dix Hills and Sonya Russo, a sixth grader at Nesaquake Middle School in St. James, play the central role of “Clara” each in two of the four performances. Claire DeVaney, a seventh grader at Commack Middle School, and Eileen Huntsman, a sixth grader at East Northport Middle School, share the pivotal role of Clara’s brother “Fritz,” who breaks Clara’s Nutcracker and sets the plot in motion, each in two of the four performances.

This year’s cast also includes Chloe Cantillo, Anna Clemente, Elysena DeStefano, Brynn Farino, Anna Gross, Isabel Gross, Sofia Gross, Marilyn Ihasz, Emily Kern, Emma Martir, Ava Napolitano, Alyssa Tavares, Sara Tobia, Nina Van Zandt, Vivienne Vasquez, and Madison Wagner of Commack; Chloe Cheng, Esther Cheng, Mikaela Gluck, Emma Grabelsky, Galina Hellman, Ariel Kerley, Holly Lochridge, Elizabeth Pau, Carina San Jose, Adrianna Stucchio of Dix Hills; Olivia Deng of Melville; Clio Sun and Seraphina Moger of Greenlawn; Charlotte Stratton of Huntington; Addison Candelaria, Grace Galgano, and Kayla Kuprian of East Northport; Elodie Hennessy and Violet Hennessy of Centerport; Magdalen Schaefer of Kings Park; Sophia Ferro of Setauket; Olivia Wu of Stony Brook; and Mary Calefato, Laila DarConte, Chloe Foster, Molly Haft, Samara Kolodny, Evelyn McCaughey, and Amelia Grace Novellino of Smithtown.

With the elegant Christmas Party Scene, the drama of the magical growing Christmas Tree, the Battle of the Toy Soldiers and Giant Mice, the live Snow Storm, and the brilliant dancing in the Land of the Sweets, “The Nutcracker” appeals to all ages. In all, a cast of 80 children, pre-professional and professional dancers will bring this classic ballet to life on the stage of the John Cranford Adams Playhouse.

Tickets are $42, $32 seniors and children 12 and under plus $3 fee, available at or by calling 631-462-0964.


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