OSSINING, N.Y. Ossining and Briarcliff students ranging from elementary to high school age are getting ready to perform this weekend in the Westchester Ballet Company's production of "The Nutcracker."
"The Westchester Ballet Company is all school children with a few adult guest dancers," said Jackie Dyer, the treasurer of the ballet company. "The youngest that they can try out is age seven and in the Nutcracker generally the seven-year-olds get to be mice. A lot of the kids do stay in it year in and year out and it becomes a huge tradition for them."
Students from the Ossining School District who will be performing in the show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains are Rylee Carpenter, Jessica Chambes, Emma Codman, Jacqueline Dorgan, Tessa Fried, Jaclyn Gabarino, Jenna Gabarino, Olivia Guihan, Claire Hammonds, Amelia Harlow, Sarah Hoffman, Elani Lagdamen, Claire Martin, Michelle Mercado, Gyelle Moise, Emma Montgomery, Isabella Mora, Batebe Mugambwa, Nyasha Nyoni, Lea Isidora Onayan, Ann Walsh, Juliet Weglarz and Eleanor Wu.
Students from the Briarcliff School District who will be performing are Julianna Brown, Emma Calame-Pennington, Sydney Charles, Julia Conzone, Olivia Gartner, Isabella Katrina Gualtiere, Charlotte Keeley, Elizabeth Madden, Nina Morse, Zoe Morse, Cara O'Neill, Sarah Raphael, Alexa Shaw, Miranda Suggs, Rachel Sukonnik, Oyinkansola Tukuru and Brooke Wilson.
Briarcliff High School student Brooke Wilson will be performing a lead role as Dew Drop, while Ossining High School student Emma Codman will be performing a lead role as a crystalline flower.
The Nutcracker is a holiday season ballet favorite that features a little girl named Clara who falls asleep after a party and dreams of mice being battled by a wooden Nutcracker doll and its soldiers. The ballet is set to music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
Many members of the Westchester Ballet Company are students in the Logrea Dance Academy in Ossining. Also performing in The Nutcracker will be Marcella de Paiva Montes of The Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C., who will star as the Sugarplum Fairy, and Nayon Rangel Iovino, also of The Washington Ballet, who will appear as the Sugarplum Fairy's Cavalier.
Tickets to the Westchester Ballet Company's production of The Nutcracker cost $14 for seniors and children ages two to 10, and $20 for the general public if bought in advance. Tickets at the door cost $25. Tickets can be reserved in advance by calling 914-995-4050 or by going to www.countycenter.biz or www.ticketmaster.com.
"Professional Nutcracker productions in the city are much pricier. We view ourselves as a professional, affordable alternative for families," Dyer said.
Performances will take place Dec. 17 at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Westchester County Center.
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