Every year around the holidays, we are all reminded of the classic ballet, “The Nutcracker.” But this year, if you’re looking for something a little different, the New Bedford Ballet Company will be presenting “A New England Nutcracker,” which features several dancers from the Tri-Town area.
“Our upcoming performance is a spin-off of the classic Nutcracker ballet,” said Kathryn Sebastiao, an 18-year-old Mattapoisett resident who will be playing the Sugar Plum Fairy and a Party Mother in the upcoming production. “We do our own version. We want to make it more about our area in New England.”
Although the production uses the same score from Peter Tchaikovsky’s original Nutcracker ballet, the New Bedford Ballet Company’s show is set in the 1850s in New Bedford. The show takes place at a party where both Herman Melville and Captain Ephraim Williams have returned home from a whaling trip. After receiving a Nutcracker that her father brings home for her from his journey, young Mary drifts off to sleep to a far-away land where magic and fantasy comes to life.
“I think it’s a really cute show,” said Sebastiao. “Little kids love it and it gets everyone ready for Christmas.”
Joining Sebastiao in the production are Tri-Town residents Tori Castanha, Bailey Sweet, Ari Sweet and Camryn McNamara from Marion, as well as Annie Tucker and Lily Eilersten from Mattapoisett. The show was created by Director Nicole Waskiel-Marchesseault and features choreography from Erin Pettijean Allen and James Brown.
“They’re amazing leaders,” said Sebastiao. “They really help us to try and perfect our dances and improve our skills.”
The cast and crew have been hard at work since the end of September preparing for the show. The company holds classes four nights per week and additional rehearsals on the weekends.
Although Sebastiao plays the sweet Sugar Plum Fairy in “A New England Nutcracker,” this performance will be bittersweet for the Old Rochester Regional senior, who will go on to college next year. While she does not plan on majoring in dance while in school, she will try and keep active in it in some capacity.
“I love to do ballet, I’ve been doing it since I was five, so basically my whole life,” she said. “I am definitely going to miss going to ballet every day with my friends and not able to perform with the same group of people.”
“A New England Nutcracker” will debut on Saturday, December 8 at 1:30 and 3:00 pm. Additional viewings will be held on Sunday, December 9 at 1:30 and 3:00 pm, Friday, December 14 at 6:30 and 8:00 pm, Saturday, December 15 at 1:30 and 3:00 pm and Sunday, December 16 at 1:30 and 3:00 pm. All shows will take place at the New Bedford Ballet Community Theatre on Purchase Street. To purchase tickets, visit www.newbedfordballet.org.
By Katy Fitzpatrick