BWR Eileen Beck

BWR to Present ‘Nutcracker’ with Symphony Accompaniment

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Ballet Western Reserve will return to the Powers Auditorium stage this weekend for its annual holiday production of “The Nutcracker.”

The timeless, family-friendly holiday classic will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, with musical accompaniment by The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

The production will feature more than 80 BWR students, who have been rehearsing for more than three months.

“This year, we took a ‘whole staff’ approach to develop ‘The Nutcracker’ staging, creating a beautifully constructed original ballet,” said Danielle Perrotta, director of the downtown ballet school.

Principal dancers in BWR’s “The Nutcracker” include (rear) Amanda Hvizdos and Gabby Howe; (middle row) Reagan Nevels, Allison Riddle and Kennedy Pickard; and (front) Faith Fisher, Eileen Beck and Nadia Simms. (Photo by Every Angle Photography).

This year marks the first time in three decades that the YSO provided live musical accompaniment for a BWR show.

“We want to make sure that our dancers are performing in front of an audience with live musical accompaniment,” said Katie Merrill, executive director of BWR.

The use of live musical accompaniment, instead of recorded music, at performances has become “an important part” of BWR programming, Merrill said, adding the school is committed to continuing the practice well into the future.

“We have dancers as young as 4 years old in ‘The Nutcracker,’ trained to adapt and adjust to the nuances that a live orchestra presents,” she said. “Not many preprofessional dancers in this day and age have the opportunity to work with a live professional orchestra, and we look forward to presenting this to our students every year.”

Tickets for “The Nutcracker” are $29 ($25 for senior citizens and students; $19 for children 12 and under). To purchase in advance, call 330 259 9651 or click here.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.