'The Nutcracker' Celebrates 40 Years


November 7, 2013

Celebrating 40 years of performances, Westside Ballet of Santa Monica is excited to announce the 2013 performances of their holiday classic, The Nutcracker.

Joining the company for the first time will be the Santa Monica College Symphony Orchestra, playing Tchaikovsky’s majestic score, led by conductor Dr. James Martin. Performances are set for November 30 and December 1, 2013 at The Broad Stage at Santa Monica at Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center.

Martine Harley, Artistic Director of Westside Ballet of Santa Monica says “When I performed The Nutcracker as a student with Westside Ballet, we had a live orchestra. It has always been a goal to return to performing to live music and I am thrilled that we will be accompanied by the Santa Monica College Symphony as we celebrate our 40th anniversary. This will be a great delight and welcome challenge for our dancers. Tchaikovsky’s score is glorious and will serve to enhance the experience of our magical Nutcracker for everyone in attendance.

Showcasing the most promising young dancers in Los Angeles, Westside’s Nutcracker is the traditional, full-length ballet in two acts, with lavish costumes and exuberant choreography.

As featured in the Los Angeles Times, the artistic direction captures the spirit of choreographer George Balanchine, as passed on by Westside’s founder Yvonne Mounsey, who created the Nutcracker role of Center Spanish during the peak of her career as principal dancer with New York City Ballet.

Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier

Appearing through the courtesy of Helgi Tomasson, San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director, are visiting guest artists Jennifer Stahl and Luke Ingham. Ms. Stahl and Mr. Ingham, both soloists with the San Francisco Ballet, will grace the stage as Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, alternating performances with Westside’s Lucia Connolly and regular guest artist Evan Swenson.

Hailing from the Pacific Palisades, Lucia Connolly has danced with Westside for 11 years and attended summer intensive programs at the School of American Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Evan Swenson completed his professional training at Houston Ballet Academy, and danced previously with the Houston Ballet and Atlanta Ballet.

Two Charming Claras are Westside Ballet Students

The coveted role of Clara, the endearing daughter in the Silberhaus family who guides audiences through her adventures with The Nutcracker, is proudly filled this year by two Westside Ballet students.

Shelby Tzung of Pacific Palisades is in the 7th grade and attends Paul Revere Middle School in Brentwood. She has been with Westside for five years and attended the School of American Ballet in NY this past summer. Gabriella Feingold resides in West Los Angeles. She is also in the 7th grade at Paul Revere and has been with Westside Ballet for four years.


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