Dec. 16-17: Saint Augustine Ballet stages The Nutcracker

The party scene of the St. Augustine Ballet’s Nutcracker. Photo by Julie Abella Photography

Holiday show features local students and guest artist dancers

The Nutcracker is a magical holiday show that features mischievous mice, dancing dolls, sparkling snowflakes, custom-designed scenery and costumes, and skillful athletic dancing. The show is suitable for all ages and for many, it has become a yearly family tradition in St. Augustine.

A scene from the 2016 Nutcracker. Photo by Renee Unsworth

This holiday favorite will be staged by Saint Augustine Ballet on Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17 — at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. both days — in Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St., downtown St. Augustine. Tickets are $25 to $30 with discounts for ages 65 and older, and 12 and younger. Tickets are available at saintaugustineballet.com or by calling 855-222-2849.

Saint Augustine Ballet’s multi-generation cast of 85 members comprised of student dancers and several well-known local celebrities have been rehearsing every Saturday since August. The principal dancers, Joseph Gattiand Andrea Harvey, will perform the iconic principal roles of the Cavalier and Sugar Plum Fairy.

Andrea Harvey — Sugar Plum Fairy

​Ms. Harvey was born in Philadelphia and her ballet training took place at the Allegheny Ballet Company in Altoona, Penn. She spent summers training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, the Chautauqua Institute, Miami

Guest artist Andrea Harvey

City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. She earned the Barbara Weisburger award in “Excellence in Classical Ballet” in the Regional Dance Festival in 2014. In 2007 Andrea moved to Pacific Northwest Ballet to become a member of the Professional Division, dancing with the company for The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Symphony in 3, and A Midsummer Nights Dream. Andrea became a member of Orlando Ballet’s second company in 2009, and a full company member in 2010, where she danced principal roles such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet by Robert Hill, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Bridesmaid in Don Quixote, principal roles with guests choreographers such as Peter Chu, Jessica Lange, and Abdur Rabin Jackson. Andrea has performed as an Exhibition Ballroom Specialist at Blackpool 2017 and Millennium 2017.

Joseph Gatti — Cavalier

Joseph Gatti is a former dancer with the Cincinnati Ballet, Corella Ballet (principal dancer), and the Boston Ballet. He was born in Warwick, New York and raised in Orlando, Florida. Gatti began dancing at the Orlando Ballet School and continued his training with Vadim

Guest artist Joseph Gatti

Fedotov and Irina Depler. Joseph danced with Orlando Ballet as an apprentice 2001-2003 under the direction of Fernando Bujones. In 2003 he was coached by Orlando Molina for the Youth American Grand Prix Ballet Competition in New York were he was awarded the Gold Medal and a Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in London. After attending the 2003 American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive he joined the American Ballet Theater Studio Company for the 2004-2005 season. In 2005 he became the first American Male Dancer to win the prestigious Gold Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition. Gatti was nominated as best male dancer for the 2006 Benois de la Danse in Moscow, Russia. In 2006 he became a Bronze Medalist at the USA International Ballet Competition and a Silver Medalist at the Seoul International Ballet Competition in Korea. He was also chosen to be featured in a video entitled “The Male Ballet Dancer” presented by master teacher Finis Jhung. In 2007 Joseph was coached by Magaly Suarez for the first World Ballet Competition in Orlando,Florida,were he received the Gold Medal. Gatti also receive the Bronze Medal at the 2010 Istambul International Ballet Competition. In 2013, Joseph received the Mr. Virtousity Award at the Dance Open Ballet Festival in Saint-Petersburg, Russia and 2014 he received Best Pas De Duex award at the Dance Open Festival in Saint- Petersburg, Russia. Gatti is also an international Guest Teacher, teaching at the National Capital Ballet School in Australia and with the Youth American Grand Prix.

MORE GUEST DANCERS

Joseph Nunamaker will dance the role of the Prince. He is a pre-professional student from the Orlando Molina Ballet Training Center in Duluth, Georgia. Orlando Molina will reprise his role as Uncle Drosselmeyer.

LOCAL DANCERS

The story of The Nutcracker revolves around Clara and her fantastical journey to the Land of the Sweets. The role of Clara will be danced by local dancer Ella Wimpelberg, a freshman at Pedro Menendez High School.

Saint Augustine Ballet’s Nutcracker has always featured numerous community members. The group meets regularly to rehearse their Act One dances in the party scene. This year’s local celebrities are Tommy Bledsoe and Joy D’Elia as Clara’s parents and other Party Parents are Katherine and Todd Batenhorst, Jane and Joe Boles, Bill and Susan Foody, Beth and Tracy Upchurch, and Georgia Garrett.

For more details, go to saintaugustineballet.com

CAST LIST — 1st Act — Party Scene

  • Clara- Ella Wimpelberg
  • Fritz- Jake Karger
  • Mother Stahlbaum- Joy D’Elia
  • Father Stahlbaum- Tommy Bledsoe
  • Clara’s Friends- Marla Ayrish, Harlow Hatin, Emaleigh Layman, Eléa Woodward
  • Party Parents- Luis Abella, Katherine Batenhorst, Todd Batenhorst, Jane Boles, Joe Boles, Bill Foody, Susan Foody, Georgia Garrett, Beth Upchurch, Tracy Upchurch
  • Cats- Annabelle Hucke, Ayla Lugo, Emma Maroney
  • Maids- Katherine DeAcutis, Devin Mantei, Kiera Pheffer
  • Party Girls- Jenny Albanesi, Josephine Anzelmo, Sabrina Berman, Lexi Brockway, Julia Douglas, Carolina Garcia, Naomi Lewis, Claudia Muekcay, Lucy Ramsey, Emily Screnock, Tess Woodward
  • Party Boys- Lexi Brockway, Sydney Brockway, Abby Chapman, Julia Douglas, Rayna Glad, Naomi Lewis, Claudia Muekcay, Ofir Pizanti, Lucy Ramsey, Anthony Romero, Emily Screnock
  • Uncle Drosselmeyer- Orlando Molina
  • Columbine Doll- Jolynne Waldner
  • Porcelain Doll- Arianna Fleischman
  • Mechanical Doll- Mileena Bicknell
  • Little Sisters- Catalina Davis, Jocelyn Herstone, Bailey Rogan

CAST — Battle Scene

  • Mouse King- Luis Abella
  • Nutcracker- Bridey Masson
  • Mouse Queen- Katherine DeAcutis
  • Mice- Madison Deprey, Jaida Fiorenze, Gabriela Hobbs, Meadow Kuc, Nature Kuc, Isla Layman, Lucy Murr, Adelaide Pacetti, Zoe Pounder, Kiley Rogan, Madisson Salgado, Chloe Straw, Emma Sweeney, Adelè Woodward
  • Soldiers- Alexander Abella, Sydney Brockway, Abby Chapman, Rayna Glad, Jake Karger, Ofir Pizanti, Anthony Romero, Davis Wimpelberg

CAST — Snow Scene

  • Prince – Joseph Nunamaker
  • Snow Queen – Kali Lee
  • Snow Corps- Marla Ayrish, Julia Douglas, Naomi Felix, Kismet Field, Arianna Fleischman, Harlow Hatin, Grace Karger, Emaleigh Layman, Paris Lugo, Jolynne Waldner, and Eléa Woodward

CAST — 2nd ACT

  • Angels- Bianca Baptiste, Marley Bryne, Kalia Chaconas, Ella Grady, Joanna Herstone, Addison Kelso, Sophia Lykam, Anastasia McClaron, Adelaide Pacetti, Eliana Pacetti, Selina Pete, Emma Sweeney, Mesa Unsworth, Adelè Woodward
    Bakers- Michael Romero, Nina Romero, America Upchurch
  • Spanish- Harlow Hatin
  • Chinese Leads- Emaleigh Layman, Paris Lugo
  • Chinese Corps- Madison Deprey, Gabriela Hobbs, Nature Kuc, Emma Maroney, Carson Palmer, Ofir Pizanti, Bailey Rogan, Chloe Straw
    Russian Leads- Jake Karger, Jolynne Waldner
  • Russian Corps- Sabrina Berman, Sydney Brockway, Carolina Garcia, Naomi Lewis, Claudia Mueckay, Lucy Ramsey, Zana Schiano
  • Arabian Lead- Devin Mantei
  • Arabian Corps- Mileena Bicknell, Jocelyn Herstone, Annabelle Hucke, Meadow Kuc, Ayla Lugo, Tess Woodward
  • Mirliton- Naomi Felix, Eléa Woodward
  • Mother Ginger- William Masson
  • Mother Ginger Leads- Katherine DeAcutis, Emily Screnock
  • Mother Ginger Corps- Lexi Brockway, Abby Chapman, Catalina Davis, Rayna Glad, Isla Layman, Zoe Pounder, Kiley Rogan, Anthony Romero
  • Dew Drop- Grace Karger
  • Flowers- Marla Ayrish, Jenny Albanesi, Harlow Hatin, Naomi Felix, Arianna Fleischman, Kali Lee, Eléa Woodward
  • Cavalier- Joseph Gatti
  • Sugar Plum Fairy- Andrea Harvey

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