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Viewfinder: Ballet Theatre Company Performs 'The Nutcracker'

The director of New York City's Exit 12 Dance Company, Roman Baca, a veteran Marine who was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2005, returns as artistic director for the production.

More than 60 local children, 14 professional dancers, and a few local celebrities come together on the stage of the Bruyette Athenaeum at the Carol Autorino Center for the Arts, , for the 10th anniversary performance of production of "The Nutcracker." 

The production has a military twist, inspired by Artistic Director Roman Baca, a veteran Marine, who will also play the role of Colonel Drosselmeyer.

This year's production debuted Saturday with a special performance at the Hyde Cultural Center in Woodstock, Conn.

The coveted role of Clara will be shared by three girls this year. Margot Paul of Berlin starred as Clara on Dec. 10 in Woodstock and also performs on Dec. 17 and 18 at Saint Joseph College. Morgan Lloyd of West Hartford performs Clara for the Outreach performance on Dec. 14 as well as on Dec. 16, and West Hartford's Hayley Eicher plays Clara on Dec. 15.

The role of Fritz, Clara's brother, is shared by two West Hartford girls – Alison Greene and Lydia Henning.

Paul, Lloyd, Eicher, Greene, and Henning are members of Ballet Theatre Company's Junior Dance Company. Other members of the Junior Company who appear in the Nutcracker production include Megan Leary (Berlin), Mollie Petrizzo (West Hartford), and Kelsey Hammond (West Hartford). These girls traveled to the Dance Arts New York (DANY) studios in New York City to rehearse their roles with professional dancers.

Junior Company roles include Party Scene/Prologue guests, Harlequin, Snowflakes, and Chinese Tea. 

Ballet Theatre Company is a non-profit organization that has served the greater Hartford community for over a decade. Ballet Theatre Company is supporting  the Marine Toys for Tots program, and attendees are asked to bring toys to deposit in the collection boxes at all of the West Hartford performances. 

The remaining performances of Ballet Theatre Company’s Nutcracker 2011 are at the Bruyette Athenaeum of the Carol Autorino Center for the Arts at Saint Joseph College on:

  • Thursday, Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

As it has for the past 6 years, Ballet Theatre Company will also provide a special outreach Nutcracker performance on Wednesday, Dec. 14, for over 600 local children from 20 child advocacy organizations including Salvation Army’s Marshall House Shelter, Girls Inc. of Greater Hartford, Nutmeg Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Gray Lodge Shelter for Women of Hartford, the Hillcrest Area Neighborhood Outreach Center (HANOC), and many others.

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