Young dancers from local towns will share the stage with New York City Ballet stars Indiana Woodward and Daniel Ulbricht in New York Dance Theatre’s 39th season of “The Nutcracker” at Hofstra University in Hempstead, on Saturday, December 18 and Sunday, December 19 with performances at noon and 5 p.m.
The girls, students at the Ohman School of Ballet in Commack, 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. Galina Hellman, an eighth grader at West Hollow Middle School, and Nina Van Zandt, a seventh grader at Commack Middle School, share the central role of “Clara,” each in two of the four performances at Hofstra University. West Hollow Middle School eighth grader Adrianna Stucchio and sixth grader Aviva Hellman 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 includes young dancers from all over the area as follows: Chloe Cantillo, Anna Clemente, Elysena DeStefano, Claire DeVaney, Brynn Farino, Anna Gross, Isabel Gross, Sofia Gross, Karen Li, Ava Napolitano, Victoria Rodgers, Alyssa Tavares, and Nina Van Zandt of Commack; Elodie Hennessy of Centerport; Roxanne Benoit, Chloe Cheong, Esther Cheong, Mikaela Gluck, Emma Grabelsky, Aviva Hellman, Galina Hellman, Charlotte Neville, Elizabeth Pau, Carina San José, Gita Seto, Adrianna Stucchio, and Anna Tang of Dix Hills; Addison Candelaria of East Northport; Charlotte Stratton of Huntington; Isabella Lenarduzzi and Magdalen Schaefer of Kings Park; Olivia Deng and Emily Yong of Melville; Eileen Huntsman, Erin McKenna, and Delaney Mulholland of Northport; Sophia Ferro of Setauket; Katie Fox of Shoreham; Laila DarConte, Amelia Grace Novellino, Chloe Foster, Sophie Niemann, and Samara Kolodny of Smithtown; Sonya Russo of St. James; and Olivia Wu of Stony Brook.
NYDT’s production is the largest Nutcracker on Long Island and the only one performed in the tradition of New York City Ballet’s Lincoln Center version. Through the years, founder and longtime Centerport resident Frank Ohman created original dances and scenes for the ballet that set his production apart from others on Long Island. As a former student and soloist under George Balanchine Ohman was one of a select few authorized to use the original pas de deux choreography of his mentor, which continues to distinguish this production.
Special guest artists, New York City Ballet principal dancers Indiana Woodward and Daniel Ulbricht, will perform as the Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier. Mr. Ulbricht serves as an artistic advisor for the Ohman School of Ballet, a division of New York Dance Theatre, and has been a recurring master class instructor at the school including on Zoom throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
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 story ballet to life on the stage of the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. The children’s roles are performed by students of the Frank Ohman School of Ballet in Commack.
Tickets for this full production ballet are $42.00 and $32.00 (seniors and children 12 and under) plus $3 fee, available at www.ohmanballet.org or 631.462.0964. Details about Covid-19 protocols for audience members are outlined on the website and are subject to change according to local government guidelines.