In a highly anticipated annual tradition, the local non-profit dance company, Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre (SCBT), is set to make its triumphant return with its rendition of the timeless holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.” The performances are scheduled for December 9th and 10th at the Civic Auditorium.
SCBT Artistic Director Diane Cypher shares, “I always look forward to welcoming back alumni to perform as guest artists in our production, and am especially proud of our two stars this year, who have each had their own phenomenal careers. They bring more than just experience to our Nutcracker, they also inspire all of our dancers with their generosity. If you dream it, you can become it! (With tons of hard work in tandem with talent.)”
They bring more than just experience to our Nutcracker, they also inspire all of our dancers with their generosity. If you dream it, you can become it! — Diane Cypher, SCBT Artistic Director
What sets this production apart is its unique distinction as the only local “Nutcracker” show to feature a full live orchestra.
The stage will come alive with the talents of 52 professional musicians, skillfully conducted by Pamela Martin, who has held the position of SCBT’s Music Director since 2013. Their collective artistry will breathe new life into Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, ensuring a series of unforgettable performances.
Star Alumni Return to the Stage
Melody, now a principal dancer with the Houston Ballet, radiates technical sensitivity and warmth, illuminating the stage. Her partner, Lucien, a remarkable principal dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, adds his brilliance to their on-stage chemistry—a partnership that was born during their teenage years as students at SCBT.
Returning to dance again together is a precious gift. We get to celebrate the fruits of our dedication and labor of love to our art form in the very place, and with the very people with whom it began and took root. — Melody Mennite, principal dancer with Houston Ballet
“Coming home to Santa Cruz to dance Sugar Plum Fairy over the years has created something like a beautiful litmus test of my growth and development as a dancer,” explains Melody Mennite. “I first danced this role with Lucien Postlewaite as my Sugar Cavalier at SCBT when I was 15 years old. Returning to dance again together is a precious gift. We get to celebrate the fruits of our dedication and labor of love to our art form in the very place, and with the very people with whom it began and took root. It is an honor and a joy to return and dance alongside this incredible group of artists.”
In addition to these star alumni, two guest artists from the New Ballet in San Jose will join the production alongside local dancers on the brink of their professional careers from across Santa Cruz County. Then, not to forget the children that will take the stage alongside their idols as SCBT welcomes dancers into their classes and performances beginning at age 4.
A Spectacular Production
The choreography is a collaborative effort by esteemed professionals Ron Cunningham and SCBT alumna Flora Chatwin, who will narrate E.T.A. Hoffman’s timeless story through classical ballet.
The production will be enhanced by sumptuous costumes, scenic designs, and professional lighting courtesy of Sylvie Vray, truly bringing this classic holiday story to life.
A special highlight to look forward to is the creation of a new Chinese divertissement, which will pay tribute to the historic Chinese settlers and their contributions to Santa Cruz.
Get your tickets today to secure your place in this beloved holiday tradition at SantaCruzTickets.com or by visiting the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium Box Office at 307 Church Street or calling (831) 420-5260.