5th Annual Nutcracker Ballet

Saturday, Nov. 19, 5 p.m., SEASIDE® Amphitheater — Ballet Pensacola and Northwest Florida Area Dancers Perform Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker in SEASIDE®

Seaside_nutcracker-100616The Merchants of Seaside will host the 5th anniversary of the Nutcracker ballet to be performed by Northwest Florida area dancers and Ballet Pensacola. Now established as a Seaside holiday tradition, the one-time performance is free and open to the public Saturday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. in the Seaside Amphitheater.

The Nutcracker in Seaside is under the direction of Ballet Pensacola Artistic Director and General Manager Richard Steinert. Known for his innovative and collaborative style of theatre and dance, Steinert has worked in repertory companies throughout the United States. Since his inaugural season as artistic director in 2007, he has held the attention of the ballet and arts community through a series of critically acclaimed performances and projects directed at broadening the experience of the dance enthusiast. “From dancing candy canes to sparkling fairies and snow, the whimsy of the Nutcracker performance in Seaside will create wonderful memories for every member of the family,” said Steinert. “With more than 25 years of experience presenting ‘The Nutcracker,’ Ballet Pensacola returns for a second year to bring this experience to the artists and patrons of Seaside.”

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Featuring Acts I and II, the Nutcracker in Seaside will last approximately an hour. Set to a score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, the performance will feature approximately 30 Ballet Pensacola ballerinas and 19 local dancers, ages 8 to 18, including prima ballerinas.

nutcracker2015_1The first Nutcracker in Seaside was performed in 2012 when Seaside co-founder and patron of the Arts Daryl Davis invited Alpharetta Dance Theatre dancers to perform the Nutcracker with the Dance Academy of Seaside Neighborhood School.  There was standing room only for that first performance which ignited the holiday spirit in the hearts of those who now view the event as an area tradition.

In October, auditions were held for Northwest Florida dancers, ages 8 to 18, from Pensacola to Panama City who wanted to dance in this year’s performance. “We were thrilled with our dancer turnout for Nutcracker auditions this year, which is a reflection of the strong interest in performing arts in our community,” said Seleta Hayes Howard, Nutcracker Ballet Mistress and Seaside Special Projects Director. Howard has been rehearsing the Northwest Florida area dancers since October and has been a part of Nutcracker in Seaside since its first show in 2012.  “Participating in the Nutcracker in Seaside provides our local dancers an opportunity to perform with professionals and build their confidence, discipline, and dance skills. This gives them a great sense of achievement and chance to develop skills they will use in all life situations,” Howard said. “It is an honor to share in this magical, cultural experience with our community and region. We are truly grateful for the support of Daryl Davis, who is dedicated to bringing the Performing Arts into our community.”

“Seaside’s Nutcracker has become a beloved holiday tradition for this community, and Ballet Pensacola is honored to be part of this classic production now for a second year in Seaside,” said Ballet Pensacola Director of Development and Marketing Courtney Dell. “Featuring talented dancers from Northwest Florida and professionals from throughout the globe, this year’s production is sure to surprise and delight the audience.”

For more information, visit www.seasidefl.com or call (850) 714-3166.