Each year, more than 6,000 children nationwide take to the stage alongside Moscow Ballet professionals and participate in the Great Russian Nutcracker, creating lifelong memories and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for students aged 6 to 18 with at least one year of ballet training.
In Lockport, the Moscow Ballet “Dance with Us” cast will perform their ancillary roles as party children, snowflakes, mice, snow maidens and variation dancers at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Historic Palace Theatre.
The Dance with Us cast members, all students who study at ballet schools in the area, auditioned for Moscow Ballet Audition Director Olga Pasternak this past summer and fall and rehearsed their roles at Dyan Mulvey Dance Academy, a Moscow Ballet host dance studio.
The students' roles are as party children, small mice, little snowflakes, snow sprites, snow maiden and Act II’s variations of the world’s five great heritages in the Land of Peace and Harmony.
Act I Dance with Us student dancers are:
Party children — Ava Barnett, Brylie Bowes, Eva Conley, Elizabeth Garver, Gabriella Gelnett, Jenna Hunt, Ryann Moriss, Katie O’Dell, Aurora Owczaeczak, Francesca Taylor, Sarah Tracz and Emma Wentland.
Small mice — Ava Barnett, Brylie Bowes, Eva Conley, Elizabeth Garver, Gabriella Gelnett, Jenna Hunt, Ryann Moriss, Katie O’Dell, Aurora Owczaeczak, Francesca Taylor, Sarah Tracz and Emma Wentland.
Little snowflakes — Charlotte Cross, Ava D’Agostino, Natalie D’Agostino, Ava Flynn, Maggie Frischolz, Ella Fritz, Carmella Johnston, Lily Kipp, Caoimhe Krueger, Madyson McNall, Arianna Millard, Victoria Pittler, Lilly Rex and Natalie Wasik.
Sleigh — Lizzie Frischolz and Teagan Neill.
Act II Dance with Us student dancers are:
Snow sprites — Eliana Benedict and Allison Gueli.
Snow maidens — Tessa Bonnano, Julia Bucci, Diega Ciraolo, Kelsey Doty, Kaela Doty, Hadley Douglas, Skylar Hill and Larkin Kuzara.
Spanish variation — Eliana Benedict, Allison Gueli, Elizabeth Garver, Jenna Hunt, Ella Fritz and Natalie Wasik.
Arabian variation — Diega Ciraolo and Hadley Douglas.
Chinese variation — Kaela Doty, Tessa Bonnano, Eva Conley, Emma Wentland, Charlotte Cross and Ava D’Agostino.
Russian variation — Julia Bucci, Kelsey Doty, Brylie Bowes, Gabriella Gelnett, Carmella Johnston and Lily Kipp.
French variation — Ryann Moriss and Sarah Tracz.
Dance with Us youth performance program has brought more than 75,000 American and Canadian dance students on stage to perform side-by side with the 40 professionals in cities on the tour since 1993. Aspiring ballerinas and danseurs, aged 7 to 17 years, perform in ancillary roles developed for their age and skill level by dancer, choreographer and Julliard graduate Mary Giannone Talmi, who is also co-producer of Moscow Ballet’s North American tours.
Underwritten by Moscow Ballet, the program delivers a ballerina from the company, who has experience teaching and working with youth, to each city to audition and rehearse the local dancers for several days, leaving the local host ballet studio to rehearse the children for six to eight weeks prior to the performance.