Holiday tradition wrapped in ballet

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Britney Eichenberger, 12, portrays Clara during a dress rehearsal of the play at the Pinkerton Academy of Dance on Friday afternoon.

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Britney Eichenberger, 12, portrays Clara during a dress rehearsal of the play at the Pinkerton Academy of Dance on Friday afternoon.

Pinkerton Ballet Theatre will presents its 16th annual production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" ballet at the Carson City Community Center on Thanksgiving weekend. Performances will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 26-27 and 2 p.m. Nov. 28.

"The Nutcracker" in many forms has been a Carson City holiday tradition since 1989 under the artistic direction of Vickie McMaster and Ayako Britt. Although in its 16th year of production, Pinkerton's Nutcracker offers new and spectacular performances year after year through the strengths and talents of new and diverse performers. In addition, McMaster and Britt incorporate fresh and artistic choreography, creating a new experience every year for loyal and first-time viewers alike.

Cast members represent not only Carson City, but Reno, Sparks, South Lake Tahoe, Dayton, Minden, Yerington and Gardnerville, making this event more than just a local tradition. Featured guest artists travel from as far away as Los Angeles and Richmond, Va., just to be a part of this holiday extravaganza.

Sen. Maurice Washington, R-Sparks, will join the cast as Mother Gigogne, a role historically played by a male. Mother Gigogne (based on the story "The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe") looks after the children, the Polichinelles (loosely translated as Bonbons), in The Kingdom of Sweets. Washington, currently in his third term as senator, will appear in all three shows.

Nationally renowned artist Tristi Ann McMaster, a native of Carson City, will reprise her role as the Sugar Plum Fairy. McMaster was formerly a principal dancer for the Richmond Ballet and Washington Ballet, as well as a soloist with the Atlanta Ballet. Tristi's husband, Norvell Robinson Jr., a native of Richmond, Va., will appear in several roles; King Mouse, Snow King, and Arabian Coffee pas de deux. Norvell was a soloist and principal dancer in the Richmond Ballet for 16 years. Together, they continue to perform across the nation as guest artists while balancing busy schedules as owners of Pilates, Dance and More in Richmond.

Armen Hagopian and Company, professional Russian folk dancers from Southern California, will make their seventh appearance in Pinkerton's Nutcracker. The dance company has toured throughout the United States in prestigious ventures and never fails to please audiences with its show-stopping choreography.

Breyanna Aufiero, 11, of Sparks will play the part of Clara during the Friday and Sunday performances while Britney Eichenberger, 12, of Carson City, performs the role during the Saturday performance. Sarah Kitchen, 18, of Reno, will dance the part of the Dew Drop Fairy on Friday and Sunday while her younger sister, Becca Kitchen, 16, takes her turn during the Saturday performance. Kelly Porter, 13, of Carson City, will perform as the Snow Queen, and the title role of the Nutcracker/Prince will be performed by South Lake Tahoe teen, Sebastiani (Bubba) Romagnolo.

In addition to the featured guest artists, Pinkerton showcases 75 talented students, ages 3 and up, representing area dance studios.

Viewers will also be treated to guest performances by the Starz Gymnastics Junior Olympic team of Reno as they tumble, flip and jump their way through The Kingdom of Sweets.


What: "The Nutcracker" ballet

Where: Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 26-27 and 2 p.m. Nov. 28

Cost: $20 general admission, $15 seniors/students. Group rates are available.

Tickets: Sugar Pine Cove, 1087 S. Carson St., or by calling 884-4603 until Nov. 26 at noon. Tickets will also be available at the door starting 90 minutes prior to each performance.

Call: 882-6748


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