Inland Pacific Ballet celebrates 25th anniversary of the The Nutcracker
Enjoy a treasured holiday tradition with family and friends at the Inland Pacific Ballet’s (IPB) production of The Nutcracker. Celebrating 25 years, more than 80 IPB dancers in elaborate costumes against the backdrop of colorful sets bring this time-honored tale to life at Bridges Auditorium.
The?Nutcracker tells the story of a young girl named Clara who receives a magical nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve and sets out on a wondrous journey to the Land of the Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. Toy soldiers, life-sized dancing dolls and a dream with battling mice, dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and the delightful Sugar Plum Fairy stir the imagination.
Attendees have an opportunity to meet the cast after the performance for photos and autographs.
Performances will take place in three theaters between November 30 and December 22, including Lewis Family Playhouse in Rancho Cucamonga, ancho Cucamonga, at Riverside’s Fox Performing Arts Center and, of course, Bridges Auditorium at Pomona College in Claremont.
The cast will also offer three Friday performances of the hilarious Nutty Nutcracker—one at Bridges on Friday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m.; as well as Friday, December 6 at Lewis Family Playhouse and on Friday, December 13 at the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside.
Since its debut in 2004, The Nutty Nutcracker features a zany storyline loosely based on the traditional Nutcracker. Follow Clara and her offbeat cousin, Anya as they witness hysterical antics and unexpected visitors in the Land of the Sweets. Get ready for sidesplitting surprises and wacky characters in this comic version of the holiday classic.
Several Claremont cast members pictured will take the stage this year.
Lawrence Chen, IPB principal dancer, performing as The Nutcracker, is a Claremont resident, and began his ballet training at the age of 13.
He spent most of his time with Victor and Tatian Kasatsky of V&T Dance Academy in Irvine, where he studied ballet, contemporary and hip-hop. In 2016 he was accepted into Pomona College and now dances in the ballet and ballroom programs while studying mathematics and chemistry.
His past repertoire includes: Basilio in Don Quixote, Benno and Siegfried in Swan Lake, The Slave in Le Corsaire, Mazurka in Coppelia, various roles from The Nutcracker, Faruch in Seven Beauties, Fire from Ancestors and The Guy in Comedy Ballet.
Lucy Cox (Sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop Fairy), academy trainee and Claremont resident, is 14 years old and is a freshman at Inspire Charter School and IPB’s new specialty dance program. This will be her ninth year performing in The Nutcracker with IPB and this will be her second year performing the role of Clara.
Lucy has also performed in Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella with IPB. Lucy has also competed in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP). In the YAGP regional semi-finals Lucy was awarded top 12 in the classical and contemporary dance categories in 2016 and 2018, and was awarded first place in the classical dance category in 2015. Lucy also qualified and competed in YAGP New York finals in 2015 to compete with talented dancers from around the world.
This past summer, Lucy was invited to attend San Francisco Ballet School’s summer intensive program, where she spent three weeks training in San Francisco with dancers and teachers from all over the world.
Bella Hamm, academy apprentice, is a Claremont resident and attends high school at Inspire Charter School through Inland Pacific Ballet. Bella fell in love with ballet when she first saw The Nutcracker. She immediately started taking classes and has been a student with IPBA since she was six years old.
Bella has performed in IPB’s company productions of The Nutcracker and Cinderella, and as well as recitals of Coppelia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sleeping Beauty. She is also involved in musical theater and has performed in a professional production of Footloose, The Musical at the California Theater. Bella most recently was featured with her parents on an episode of ABC’s travel show, Vacation Creation, which took her to the Baltic Sea where she visited seven countries and highlighted a visit to St. Petersburg, Russia and Lithuania.
Hayley Winslow’s love of ballet began at the age of four, while watching her very first Nutcracker performance. From that moment on, ballet became her life. As an aspiring ballerina, Hayley, an academy junior trainee and Claremont resident, began her training with IPBA. For the past four years, Hayley, 13, has furthered her ballet training by attending the prestigious American Ballet Theatre’s New York summer intensive program on full scholarship. Hayley is very grateful to have been given the opportunity to dance with the Moscow Ballet in The Great Russian Nutcracker, as well as dancing in the American Contemporary Ballet’s performance of Mozartiana.
Hayley has also attended the Youth American Grand Prix for the past two years, and will be attending again in 2019.
Antoinette Wood, academy junior trainee and Claremont resident, trained in ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary for six years at Redlands School of Dance under the direction of Beckee Fitzpatrick. She joined Inland Pacific Ballet Academy at age 11. Antoinette has performed in three IPBA recitals: Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This will be Antoinette’s fourth year performing in The Nutcracker. She participated in two summer intensive programs with IPBA and one with American Ballet Theatre at the University of South Florida.
Bridges Auditorium will host The Nutty Nutcracker on Friday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m., followed by the traditional Nutcracker on Saturday, December 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. as well as Sunday, December 22 at 2 p.m.
Lewis Family Playhouse, 12505 Cultural Center Dr., Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday, November 30 at 2: p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 1 at 2 p.m.; The Nutty Nutcracker on Friday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m; Saturday, December 7 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m.
Performances at Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside will take place Friday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. (The Nutty Nutcracker); Saturday, December 14 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $25, senior/child/ group discounts are available. For information and tickets, visit ipbllet.org.