Three chances to catch 32nd annual ‘Nutcracker’ ballet

'Nutcracker" at LPCA (Photo provided — Lisa Keegan)

LAKE PLACID – The Lake Placid Center for the Arts and North Country Ballet Ensemble present the 32nd annual performance of “Nutcracker.”

The performance will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children. Tickets are available by calling the LPCA Box Office at 518-523-2512 or online at

In its 32nd season, the North Country Ballet Ensemble’s “Nutcracker” will entertain audiences with new choreography and surprising new props. Guest and Resident Choreographers have fashioned a Nutcracker sure to entertain even veteran audience members. This year, there are changes to Party Scene, Battle Scene, and the Chinese Variation.

Alice Schonbek, in her sixth season as Artistic Director, has commissioned noteworthy makeovers of key aspects of the Nutcracker. Affiliate choreographer, Rebecca Kelly of New York City, continues her 19-year relationship with the NCBE. In addition to Rebecca Kelly, the NCBE artistic staff includes Resident Choreographer, Terpsie Toon, in her 7th year, Michela Boschetto of New York City, 10-year veteran, along with Natalia Balina-Zborowska. Also of note this year is the enthusiastic community participation and support, with a cast of 55 local student dancers, and 12 community members to entertain audiences.

Outstanding New York City professional dancers will be joining them for the 32nd season. Therese Wendler, currently principal dancer with Dances Patrelle and former principal dancer with Connecticut Ballet and Rebecca Kelly Ballet, will dance the role of Sugar Plum Fairy. Mikhail Ilyin, will perform in the role of Cavalier. Ilyin, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, received his training at the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy before moving to the United States in 1999. Ilyin has danced as soloist and principal dancer with Boston Ballet, Miami City ballet and American Ballet Theater.

Lillian TullerUss of Jay will dance the role of Claire, while Jordan Osborne from Peru will perform as Fritz. Also, for the first time, Tyler Nye of New York City will perform as Uncle Drosselmeyer, and Karen Courtland Kelly as the Nutcracker. The NCBE graduates one senior this season, Skylar Curtis of Beekmantown. Curtis will dance Claire’s Angel, in the ensemble of the “Snow Scene,” the Solo Angel, as a corps member in the Arabian Variation, and as the Dew Drop in “Waltz of the Flowers.”

Margaret Swick will rework the lighting design of SUNY’s Erika Guay. Look for new special effects in the Angel scene and new props in the Chinese Variation. Once again, the show’s visual appeal will be enhanced by a variety of set features, designed and produced by dedicated community members.

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