Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A 'Nutracker' for the ages

By Alex Rush

“The Nutcracker” has always appealed to children, but the Brighton Ballet Theater is taking extra steps to make its performance of the 100-year-old classic Russian ballet even more kid-friendly.

The company, which is holding its show at Kingsborough Community College’s performing arts center on Dec. 18, cast 50 young dancers from its ballet school in its version of Tchaikovsky’s classic. (The same troupe reprises the show the next day at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.)

Choreographer Edouard Kouchnarev wanted to include students in the show with seasoned professional dancers so that kids in the audience could truly relate to the performance.
“It’s great for children in the audience to see dancers their own age on stage,” said Anna Becker, executive director of the Kingsborough Performing Arts Center.

The Brighton Ballet Theater has also shortened the typically two-hour ballet, performing only the most exciting excerpts from the show, complete with lavish costumes and vivid scenery.
“The show moves along quicker and has more rhythm to suit a contemporary audience,” Kouchnarev said. “We don’t expect that kids these days want to sit through a long show when there’s holiday shopping to do.”

But just because Brighton Ballet Theater’s “The Nutcracker” is abridged, that doesn’t mean it won’t include all the shows traditional global dances. Expect dancers to gracefully emulate moves from Spain, China, India, France, an extra Nigerian dance not in the original, and, of course, Russia.

The Brighton Ballet Theater does “The Nutcracker” at Kingsborough Community College [2001 Oriental Blvd. at Decatur Avenue in Manhattan Beach, (718) 368-5596], Dec. 18 at 2 pm. Tickets $12. For info, visit; a repeat performance will take place at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum [145 Brooklyn Ave. St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights, (718) 735-4400] on Dec. 19 at 1:30 and 2:30 pm.


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