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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, Friday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. All performances will take place in Millard Auditorium.
Admission to each performance is $30 for adults; $15 for students 12 and under; and $20 for other students and senior citizens with ID. University of Hartford discount rates are not available for this production. Group rates may be available to organizations. To purchase tickets, please call the University Box Office at 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587 or visit hcd.hartford.edu. For more information, contact Amanda Kilpatrick, Hartt Community Division Dance Department, at 860.768.2491.
Once again this year, the HCD production of The Nutcracker will feature cameo appearances by local celebrities from both on and off campus. Special guests from the community will include Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman and Chad Williams, director of program services for the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford.
Closer to home, University President Walter Harrison, Women's Basketball Head Coach Jennifer Rizzotti, and Emily Audibert '13, the reigning Miss Connecticut, will make appearances in The Nutcracker. Audibert, a triple major in the Barney School of Business and a lifelong dancer, will be representing Connecticut at the 2013 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas in January. Another University celebrity, mascot Howie the Hawk, will also make a cameo appearance in The Nutcracker.
Last year, the Hartt Community Division’s full-length production of The Nutcracker was its first with Artistic Director Samantha Dunster at the helm. This holiday season, HCD’s fully staged production of Tchaikovsky’s time-honored classic, with staging again by Artistic Director Dunster, will transport the audience to a magical world.
In addition to the 100+ Hartt dancers between the ages of 5 and 18, former members of the Hartford Ballet will grace the stage, including Debra Collins Ryder of Farmington, Angela Quatrocelli Manger of West Hartford, and Susannah Marchese of Hartford. Ryder and Marchese are current ballet instructors in the Community Division and continue the strong teaching legacy of the School of the Hartford Ballet. Stephen Pier, former dancer of the Royal Danish Ballet and associate professor of dance and director of The Hartt School Dance Division, will reprise the central role of Uncle Drosselmeyer.
Even with special guests appearing in the production, Dunster keeps the focus on the children and students of Hartt. 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.”
Christina Henares of Avon and Gwen Schwartz of West Hartford dance the starring role of Clara, each at different performances. Gabrielle Collins of West Hartford and Kathryn Manger of West Hartford will share the principal roles of Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Andrew Matte ’15, a University of Hartford biology major and Hartt School Dance Division student, will dance the role of the Cavalier. The nearly 100 corps members – ranging in age from 5 to 18, and from Pre-Ballet level study through HCD’s elite pre-professional program – hail from a number of area towns, including Avon, Bloomfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Granby, Hartford, Kensington, Newington, Simsbury, South Windsor, Suffield, Tarrifville, Tolland, Unionville, and West Hartford.