Published On: Wed, Dec 11th, 2013

‘The Nutcracker’ Review: Next Generation Ballet showcases young performers in impressive and beautiful performance

Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker has become a popular and iconic staple in modern Americana, deeply rooted into the Christmas celebrations, rituals and customs across the country.

Hannah Stanford as the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker photo Kathy Schmitt (courtesy of Patel Conservatory)

Hannah Stanford as the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker photo Kathy Schmitt (courtesy of Patel Conservatory)

The Patel Conservatory’s Next Generation Ballet, located on the Straz Center campus, presented the classic tale with a cast headed for greater days ahead.

Sparing no expense, director Peter Stark delivers a production of clever choreography and elegant dancers with a dash of fun and cameos by the youngest performers.

The background is filled with talented dance sequences and a plethora of action that the audience may even struggle to grasp during just one sitting. Most viewers wouldn’t know or guess that these performers are still considered students and not professionals.

Several of these performers are set to attend the Royal Ballet School of England or The School of American Ballet, so their future is bright indeed.

Johnny Maio was particularly impressive as the tap dancing Celtic doll, joining the amusing Faberge Eggs and caterpillars to showcase the young enthusiasts. Not every Nutcracker performance includes acrobatics, but it was a welcomed touch, adding flair to the already beautiful performance.

Like most of the Patel events at the Straz, the stage craft and set designs always impress, far beyond the expectations for a student production.

Stark has an all-star group of talented young people and their hard work is truly showcased during this production, so plan to catch them in an upcoming event before they move on to even greater opportunities.

Check out the full calendar of events, ticket information for performances HERE

You may also enjoy The Global Dispatch interview with Hannah Stanford, a Next Generation Ballet student headed to London full-time in 2014. Check it out HERE

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