Valley Performing Arts Center

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LA Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Friday, December 21, 2018



Friday, December 21, 2018


7:00 pm - 4:30 pm


LA Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker


Alex Theatre
216 N. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA


Internationally renowned ballet stars and prominent role models Ashley Murphy and Brooklyn Mack guest star in Los Angeles Youth Ballet’s critically-acclaimed production of The Nutcracker by award-winning choreographer Andrea Paris-Gutierrez, which caps the holiday season with four performances on Friday, December 21, 7 pm, Saturday, December 22, 2 pm and 7 pm, and Sunday, December 23, 2018, at 2 pm, at Glendale’s Alex Theatre. Murphy (Sugar Plum Fairy), a “fearless technician” (Washington Post) heralded for her “charm and fire” (New York Times) who has “made it her mission to inspire young people of color” (Pointe), is a principal dancer with The Washington Ballet and previously danced for 13 years with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Kirov-trained, Mack (Sugar Plum Fairy's Cavalier), formerly a principal dancer with The Washington Ballet and in demand as a guest principal dancer worldwide, is celebrated for his “explosive leaps, incredible precision…and onstage charisma” and is “the first African-American man to win gold at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria” (NPR). The Nutcracker is performed by Darrion Sellman, a 14-year-old virtuoso who moved from Virginia to Los Angeles specifically to train with Paris-Gutierrez and LA Youth Ballet. Sofia Monroy, 15, and Ellie Wein, 14, alternate as Clara; and Malcolm McLaurin Takumi,11, and Marcel Ramirez, 12, alternate as Clara’s brother Fritz. The roles of children and parents at the party, soldiers, Mouse King, mice, snowflakes, flowers and dolls are performed with exceptional artistry and emotional depth by the rising stars of LA Youth Ballet.

Enhancing the rich compendium of this much beloved classic, Paris-Gutierrez’s youth-inspired version of the two-act ballet featuring Tchaikovsky’s quintessential score and more than 80 dancers was premiered last season to critical acclaim. It includes traditional influences as well as Paris-Gutierrez’s distinctive point of view as the Artistic Director of the lauded LA Youth Ballet and an experienced mentor to young dancers. Choreographed to perfection and hailed as “fairy-tale perfect” (Culture Spot LA), “Los Angeles Youth Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ adds energy and exuberance to the traditional choreography” (Los Angeles Times).

LA Youth Ballet, the premier ensemble of the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, is an advanced pre-professional student ensemble for accomplished classical dancers ages 13-19 that provides comprehensive ballet training combined with professional-caliber performance opportunities. Many of its alumni, noted for their impeccable technique and compelling artistic expression, have garnered numerous awards and have gone on to professional careers with some of the world’s leading ballet companies and musical theatre productions around the country.

Tickets start at $25 and are available through the Alex Theatre Box Office 818.243.2539 or visit The Alex Theatre is located at 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale CA 91203.

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