NFB presents annual production of the Nutcracker

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

The Northwest Florida Ballet will present the 36th annual production of the classic holiday fairytale the Nutcracker at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 and 21 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 22 at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College. Sinfonia Gulf Coast, led by maestro Demetrius Fuller, will provide live orchestral accompaniment for the three performances.

Tickets are $35 for adults and $17 for children 12 and under, and may be purchased at www.nfballet.org or 850-664-7787.

"This year marks 36 years that families along the Gulf Coast have made NFB's performance of the Nutcracker part of their holiday traditions," said NFB Artistic Director and CEO Todd Eric Allen. "We are honored to bring Demetrius Fuller and Sinfonia Gulf Coast back this season. They will play for both of our Nutcracker and Cinderella productions. Last year NFB established 'The NFB Live Music Fund' which supports our efforts to bring live music back to all of our major theatre productions. This season the St. Joe Community Foundation contributed $15,000 to the fund for the performances of Nutcracker."

NFB's production of the Nutcracker includes a cast of over 100 dancers that includes local children, NFB Company members and several international guest artists including Adiarys Almeida Santana and Joseph Michael Gatti dancing the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Prince Cavalier respectively.

Almeida hails from Cuba where she was trained at the National Ballet School in Havana. Gatti began his training at the Orlando Ballet, and then received a scholarship to finish his training at the Royal Ballet in London. Almeida and Gatti are currently independent artists who travel the world together to perform with ballet companies and at international dance festivals.

NFB dancer Jason Bailey will perform the role of the Nutcracker Prince; Ash Willman will dance the role of Clara and Wyatt Mier will play the role of the high-spirited Fritz. Jonathan Carter and Brooklyn Burbidge will portray the roles of the Snow King and Queen; the Dew Drop Fairy will be performed by Ella Brummett; Arabian will be danced by Willie Moore, Jr., Victoria Garofalo and Jeffrey Senior, Jr.

In addition to its three public performances, NFB will also present two performances for area school children and special needs groups. These performances are part of NFB's Education and Outreach services and will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 19 and Nov. 20.