Press Release (ePRNews.com) - CARMEL, Calif. - Oct 24, 2017 - Dance Kids 24th Annual Full-Length ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition’ Will Feature, For The First Time, A 39-Member Symphony Orchestra, Playing For Its Four December Production Dates At Carmel’s Sunset Center
For the first time in its history, Dance Kids will kick off its Silver Anniversary Celebration Year with ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition’ in December at Carmel’s Sunset Center, and feature, along with the cast of the ballet, a complete 39-member symphony orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s familiar holiday score.
The 39-member Monterey County Pops!, conducted by Dr. Carl Christensen, will perform in the orchestra pit at Sunset Center with Dance Kids dancers on stage in the annual full-length holiday ballet.
“It is something I’ve always wanted; a quarter-century dream come true,” says Dance Kids founder and artistic director, Carol Richmond. “This will be a totally different experience for the audience, having a live orchestra perform the music. It is very exciting.”
Monterey County Pops! was founded in 1985 and not only provides to the community free, public pops-and-patriotic concerts on holidays, but is the only orchestra in Monterey County that provides a tuition-free, professional performance experience for disadvantaged students in their own communities.
Their audience has grown to approximately 6,700 and 175 young, underserved performers created six professional-quality performances in collaboration with the orchestra last year.
The performance weekend begins Dec. 8, 2017, with another tradition and a gift to the community; a free 10 a.m. Friday morning show given each year to the school children of the Monterey Peninsula. Dance Kids gifts the 700-seat theater to the underserved youth in the community. There will be a 7 p.m. Friday night show, Gala fundraiser on Saturday night, Dec. 9, 2017, at 5 p.m. and show at 7, and the much-anticipated “Sugar Plum Fairy Champagne and Tea Party” at ybvqv 12:15 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10, followed by the show at 2 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now, at www.sunsetcenter.org. Tickets are $49 for adults, $35 for children, $45 for students/military/seniors for performances; $135 for adults and $65 for children for the Gala fundraiser on Dec. 9. Tickets for the Gala only (no performance) are $100. Admission to the “Sugar Plum Fairy Champagne and Tea Party” on Sunday are $95 and $42 per person for a group of 10 or more.
The full-length ballet features over 100 dancers ranging in age from 4 to adult; over 400 costumes and countless numbers of accessories, including headpieces, hats and gloves. This production requires countless hours of volunteer time and elaborate set design featuring local scenes and landmarks. The previous budget of $75,000 has grown to over $125,000 with the inclusion of the symphony. The funds were raised by the Dance Kids Board of Directors and Friends of Dance Kids.
The production is open to all dancers from the community and boasts a spirit of inclusion to all that audition. Auditions and rehearsal begin in September. Andrea Paris Gutierrez, of the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, returns as choreographer, with five local rehearsal directors coordinating the production. Three of the five directors are Royal Academy of Dance, London, certified instructors.
“This is huge,” says Richmond. “The symphony component has raised our ‘Nutcracker’ above and beyond. This isn’t a baby step, this is an elegant leap into our celebration of Dance Kids’ Silver Anniversary Year.”
Two years ago, Dance Kids rebranded “Nutcracker; A Monterey Peninsula Tradition” and incorporated the Old Del Monte Hotel as the setting for the first act party scene and introduced famous characters associated with the Peninsula, such as Salvador Dali and John Steinbeck.
Richmond says, “The story line and choreography remain the same yet reflect the tradition of the heyday of the Peninsula in the early ’20s and ’30s.”
In the near future, the production will announce the guest artists performing in December’s productions.
Set designer for the production is Nicole Bryant-Stephans of Bottega Design, and costumes are by Joanne Phelps.
About Dance Kids
With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids of Monterey County, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experience that support the youth of the Monterey Peninsula. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker” and original spring musicals written by Walt de Faria and a full-length spring ballet, produced at Sunset Center.
Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musical and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued at the venue for the spring musicals, until those too, outgrew the dance studio. “Nutcracker” moved to Sunset Center in 1995 and has remained there as its home venue except for the years the center was being remodeled.
Dance Kids “Nutcracker” has grown into a premier production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. This year is one of pivotal change and growth.
About Monterey County Pops!
Monterey County Pops! was formed in 1985 by musicians and community leaders to expand and enrich musical experiences in Monterey County. In 1990, the orchestra adopted its mission to present free, public pops-and-patriotic concerts on holidays. In 2012, the orchestra renewed its commitment to serve all of Monterey County, not just the Monterey Peninsula.
And, all of our programs are FREE for both for the young performers and for audience members. Source :