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Visions Of Sugar Plums Will Dance On Stage During 'Nutcracker Suite,' One Of Many Planned Holiday Festival Events



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Clara will soon be dreaming of sugar plum fairies, angels, and dolls again this year as Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice (NCCB) again partners with Newtown Youth & Family Services for the 34th Holiday Festival, of which Nutcracker Suite is a centerpiece.

The ballet studio will present two one-hour length performances, at noon and 2 pm, on the Edmond Town Hall Theatre stage, 45 Main Street, during the festival on Sunday, December 8.

Tickets may be purchased as part of the Holiday Festival package or individually for $8 at the door.

Dancers will also perform excerpts of the play during the Newtown Rotary Club-Newtown Parks & Recreation Pancake Breakfast with Santa a day earlier. NCCB dancers are scheduled to take the stage at Newtown Community Center on Saturday, December 7, at 8:15, 9, and 9:45 am.

Ballet Centre Director Victoria Gozzi noted “some exciting additions/updates this year.”

She said that last year “was the first year that we had our 3- and 4-year-olds as reindeer pulling Clara’s sleigh into the Land of the Sweets. As predicted, these little ones definitely stole the show, so they are making a triumphant return.

“My daughter Cecilia is one of our newest reindeer and it’s her very first ballet. She’s been talking about painting on that red reindeer nose for months,” she said.

Also, due to Edmond Town Hall’s “wonderful stage renovation, this year’s show will showcase two beautiful full backdrops that have been in our studio storage for too long a time,” Ms Gozzi said. With the new infrastructure, “we can again have a beautiful living room scene at the Stahlbaum house for Act 1 and wondrous candy castle for the Land of the Sweets in Act 2.”

She is “so excited,” she said, “to bring these sets back into the production in combination with the lighting and props and costumes to make our show more festive than ever.”

This year marks the return of the little toy soldiers in tutus. Featured will be the studio’s 7- and 8-year-old dancers.

“The costumes were completely overhauled and reworked with hours of sewing new rosette buttons and gold trim to get them just right along with a brand new Nutcracker costume to match,” Ms Gozzi said. She has Amanda Morrison to thank for the weeks of preparation and sewing that went into this scene this year, she said.

The ballet studio is “once again privileged to have the students of the Jockey Hollow Chamber Choir of Monroe Middle School join us in singing ‘Snowflake Chorus’ as Clara travels through the snow forest to the Land of the Sweets,” Ms Gozzi mentioned.

Featured dancers this year will include Kylee Raiano, a senior at Newtown High School, who will dance as the Sugar Plum Fairy in this year’s production; Julia Finegan, a senior at Masuk High School in Monroe, will dance as Dew Drop Fairy; Taegan Smith, a junior at Newtown High School, will dance as the Snow Queen; and Molly Tinkler, a seventh grader at Newtown Middle School, will be this year’s Clara.

Other featured roles include Kaly Naughton as the Nutcracker and Russian Queen, Nilaja Kariamu as Spanish Queen, Chelsea Fowler as Arabian Queen, Annie Smith as Chinese Queen, and Annelise Raedy as Ribbon Candy.

“Many of these girls, as well as some of our younger students, will also be performing at the Danbury Music Centre’s community Nutcracker the week following our show, December 13-15 at Danbury High School,” Ms Gozzi mentioned.

Tickets for Nutcracker Ballet are $8 for one performance only. The performance is also included in the purchase of a full Holiday Festival ticket.

Holiday Festival Details

The 34th Newtown Holiday Festival will be presented along Main Street on Sunday, December 8, from 11 am until 4 pm. The event is a fundraiser for Newtown Youth & Family Services.

The festival offers activities for all ages to include including a Festival of Trees, Holiday House Tours, children's activities, guest appearances from Frozen characters, and narrated trolley rides, among other offerings, with most activities taking place at C.H. Booth Library, Edmond Town Hall and Trinity Episcopal Church.

Six private homes are included on this year's house tours. Two are on Main Street, and the other four are within the center of town. A shuttle service will be running between the six stops for the convenience of ticket holders.

Tickets for the 34th Newtown Holiday Festival are $15 for adults in advance, $13 senior citizens (ages 60+), $8 for ages 2-14, free for those under 2, and $30 for a family four-pack (two adults, two children).

Advance tickets can be purchased at Newtown Savings Bank (Main Street and Sand Hill Plaza locations); NYFS, 15 Berkshire Road; or C.H. Booth Library.

Tickets can also be purchased online by visiting newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org before 11:59 pm Saturday, December 7.

On December 8, tickets will be $18 for adults, $15 seniors, $10 ages 2-14, and $36 for a family four-pack.

Same day tickets will be available for purchase at Edmond Town Hall and C.H. Booth Library. Additional information about the Holiday Festival can be obtained by calling 203-270-4335 or visiting the NYFS website.

Newtown Centre for Classical Ballet & Voice dancers who will be performing as Rats in this year’s Holiday Festival include, from left : Olivia Grasso, Elizabeth Collins, Vivien Vass, Gwenyth Tait, Emma Kate Yamanaka, Zoe Shapiro, Hannah Neeb, and Soleil Roberts. Those performing as Toy Soldiers include, from left: Maggie Grasso, Zoe Giordano, Morgan Ferris, Sadie Tepper, Ruth Tepper, Vera Marques, and Anna Keogler. Seated at center is Molly Tinkler, who is playing Clara. —photos courtesy Tory Gozzi
Clara (Molly Tinkler) prepares to go for a sleigh ride pulled by Reindeer, from left, top row: Westley Sears, Ruth Freese, Paige Tinkler, Quinn Boxberger; and front, also from left: Margot Lacey, Amelia Gorglione, Cecilia Gozzi, River Roberts.
NCCB dancers preparing for Nutcracker Ballet performances include, back row, from left: Annelise Raedy (Ribbon Candy), Kylee Raiano (Sugar Plum Fairy), Julia Finegan (Dew Drop Fairy), Taegan Smith (Snow Queen), Annie Fowler (Chinese); and front row, from left: Nilaja Kariamu (Spanish), Olivia Grasso (Messenger), Chelsea Fowler (Arabian), Kaly Naughton (Russian).
Chinettes, from left, are Eleanor Raedy and Lillian Caico; and in front is Annie Fowler (Chinese Queen).
Mary Morrison (Soldier Doll), Eleanor Raedy (Ballerina Doll), Emma Kate Yamanaka (Acrobat Doll) are shown during a recent rehearsal for Newtown Center of Classical Ballet & Voice’s Nutcracker Ballet, which will return to Edmond Town Hall at part of the NYFS Holiday Festival on Sunday, December 8.
The Spanish Queen, standing at center, is being danced by Nilaja Kariamu. Her Court dancers are, from left, Vivien Vass, Elizabeth Collins, Soleil Roberts, and Zoe Shapiro.
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