To celebrate the start of the holiday season, Hudson Conservatory of Ballet (HCB) will present two performances of The Nutcracker at Hudson High School on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m.
HCB is thrilled to welcome Lea Fleytoux and Jarod Curley of American Ballet Theatre (ABT) to the stage to perform the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier. ABT is recognized as one of the world’s leading ballet companies performing at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center in New York City. Both Fleytoux and Curley have performed as corps de ballet members with ABT since June 2019. Fleytoux, originally from Paris, trained in the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School before moving her way up into the company. Curley, originally from Bethesda, Maryland began in the ABT Studio Company before he was promoted to apprentice and then corps de ballet member. Along with these two guests, two local male dancers, Antonio Morillo and Sikhumbuzo Hlahleni of Verb Ballet, located in Cleveland, will appear as additional characters throughout the ballet.
Currently in its 8th season, HCB has made its traditional version of the classic holiday ballet a staple in the community for the past six years. Directors Eric Carvill and Sunita Joshi started the tradition in 2015 by presenting the second act of the ballet, the Land of the Sweets. Each season, the production has grown to include Act One scenes such as the Waltz of the Snowflakes, the Party Scene, and the Battle Scene. Now wIth a complete ballet and 70+ member cast, the story keeps getting better.
This season’s production includes new features in every scene. The Party Scene will include added dresses and a reupholstered sofa matching the Victorian-style era in which the Stahlbaum family lives. Godfather Drosselmeyer will perform new tricks such as making flowers appear out of thin air and pulling a multi-colored scarf out of a town boy’s ear. Her majesty the Rat Queen, featured in the Battle Scene, will be adorned with a new Queen-of-Hearts-inspired costume including a military-style jacket and a custom made headpiece complete with a heart studded crown. The updated Snowflake corps bodices will give an extra sparkle to the magical Snow Scene. In the Land of the Sweets, the Arabian Coffee and Chinese Tea dances include added dancers and therefore new choreography and costumes to bring the sweets to life. Lastly, the most recognizable and audience favorite Waltz of the Flowers dance will feature new handmade corps de ballet costumes that mimic a bouquet of flowers with evergreen bodices and layers upon layers of pink and yellow tulle.
The characters donning these new and existing costumes are performed by students in HCB’s Conservatory program as well as selected dancers from its Full Season Program. HCB’s Conservatory consists of 42 students ages 9-18 who train anywhere from 7-15 hours per week in classical ballet and contemporary styles. Students compete and are recognized in regional, national, and international competitions such as the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) and American Dance Competition and International Ballet Competition (ADC IBC), attend prestigious summer intensives all over the country, and have been selected to attend year-round programs at world-renowned training schools both nationally and internationally.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at hudsonconservatory.com/nutcracker or at the door. Performances will be held at Hudson High School located at 2500 Hudson Aurora Road in Hudson, OH. Theater doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of each performance. All audience members are required to wear a mask.