BREVARD COUNTY — A classic Christmas tale will dance its way to the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts stage this winter when the Space Coast Ballet Company returns for an annual audience favorite performance of the Nutcracker Ballet.
Now in its 17th year, the Space Coast Ballet Company will present the Nutcracker Ballet with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra for two performances, and tickets are on sale now.
The public has been invited to attend an “Evening of Arts” fundraising event to benefit the Space Coast Ballet Company from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13 at the Foosaner Art Museum, 1463 Highland Ave., Melbourne.
Tickets are available for $100 per individual, and an RSVP is requested by Sept. 10.
With auditions just wrapped up for the roles featured in the Nutcracker Ballet, the cast will boat of 130 people, 95% of them largely from the community, according to Loretta Grella-Sorbello, co-founder and vice chair of of the Space Coast Ballet Company board.
“We’ve had the best dancers in the world perform with us,” Mrs. Grella-Sorbello said. “This year, we have Patrick Yocum, principal dancer with the Boston Ballet, and Maria Baranova, principal dancer with the Bavarian State Ballet of Munich, Germany as our principal dancers.”
The costumes and sets seen in the Space Coast Ballet Company’s Nutcracker Ballet performances have all been made in St. Petersburg, Russia, and any extra costumes needed to fit extra dancers have been made by a local seamstress for the company, or otherwise have been purchased from Russia.
“We pride ourselves on giving kids an opportunity to be in our ballet,” Mrs. Grella-Sorbello said. “Last year we decided that instead of giving our money to a dance studio, we would give the money to the community. We decided to hire an independent artistic director who does not have a dance studio, and all the money we make, we’re giving to give free tickets away to Title 1 schools.”
Ekaterina Shchelkanova will return for the second year as the Space Coast Ballet Company’s artistic director. She was a soloist for the Kirov Ballet (now known as the Mariinsky Theatre), and has since been recognized for her role in the 2002 award-winning film “Chicago,” in addition to numerous ballet productions.
Throughout the year, volunteers will join the Space Coast Ballet Company to make visits at Brevard schools to teach a lesson in dance or to read “The Nutcracker” to students.
“I would love to one day have enough money to see a kid and say, you know what we’re going to finance your dance. You pick any studio you want to go to, and Space Coast Ballet is going to pay for it. Why not have the next Misty Copeland come from Florida?”
Misty Copeland is the first African American principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, according to Mrs. Grella-Sorbello.
“She was found in an after school program, very poor, and someone said to her, ‘You should be a ballet dancer,’” Mrs. Grella-Sorbello said. “You remember the Nutcracker movie that came out last year? She’s the star.”
Rehearsals has only just begun for the Nutcracker Ballet, which currently are taking place at HQ Adventure and will move to the King Center for the Performing Arts when renovations have been completed.
The Space Coast Ballet Company organizers are excited to share in an “Evening of Arts,” which will feature a special dance with Ekaterina Shchelkanova and her husband, Anton Boystov.
The evening will also include food, wine, jazz and blues, and a live auction hosted by Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
Mrs. Grella-Sorbello said the Space Coast Ballet Company is proud to partner with Infinity of Melbourne, a Kelly Auto Group Dealership, for this event, and would also like to thank Wesche Jewelers for participating in the silent auction.
The Evening of Arts will auction off two roles in the upcoming Nutcracker Ballet: a brief role in a street scene, which Sheriff Ivey himself had in a previous year, and the role of “Mother Ginger.”
The Nutcracker Ballet is scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the King Center for the Performing Arts, 3865 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne.
For more information, call (321) 427-2656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.