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Hartt Community Division to Present The Nutcracker
The Hartt School Community Division (HCD) will present the timeless holiday ballet classic, The Nutcracker, on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. All performances will take place in Millard Auditorium.
Please call the University Box Office at 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587 or visit www.hartford.edu/hartt for tickets. Admission to each performance is $30 for adults; $15 for students 12 and under; and $20 for other students and senior citizens with ID. Group and University of Hartford discount rates are not available for this production.
With staging by new Artistic Director Samantha Dunster, HCD's fully staged production of Tchaikovsky's time-honored classic transports you to a magical world. Dunster says of the ballet, "The holidays are a magical time of the year for children, and Hartt's production of The Nutcracker truly evokes the spirit of the season. HCD's production is performed both by and for young people. Professional guest artists dance cameo roles in our production – dancing alongside, inspiring, and mentoring our students throughout the entire process – yet the focus of this production remains exactly where it should be, on our young artists. Featured roles, such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, are danced by our own advanced dancers, which gives them a unique level of experience that other schools do not typically provide."
Alexis Aiudi of Avon and Karma Woodcock of South Windsor dance the starring role of Clara, each at different performances. Gabrielle Collins of West Hartford is featured as the Snow Queen and Kathryn Manger of West Hartford is the Sugar Plum Fairy. The nearly 100 corps members – ranging in age from 5 to 18, and from discovery level study through HCD's elite pre-professional intensive ballet program – hail from a number of towns throughout the region. The company also features Katrina Schmidt, a former HCD student now training at Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.
Andrew Matte '15, a Hartt BFA student from Jaffrey, N.H., dances the role of the Cavalier, and Stephen Pier, formerly of the Royal Danish Ballet and José Limón Dance Company and current Director of Hartt's collegiate Dance Division, appears as Uncle Drosselmeyer.
Truly a Hartt and Hartford dance community collaboration, several Hartt and HCD dance faculty, former Hartford Ballet dancers (HCD is a legacy of the School of the Hartford Ballet), and another BFA student also share the stage. Each performance also features special guest appearances by local celebrities, including Better Connecticut hosts Scot Haney and Kara Sundlun, University of Harford alumnus and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, University President Walter Harrison, and Hartt Dean Aaron Flagg.