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— A holiday tradition continues for a fifth year when the Classical Ballet Academy performs The Nutcracker, showcasing the most promising young dancers in northwest Arkansas. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Arend Arts Center on the Bentonville High School campus, 1901 S.E. J Street.

Marissa Spear, 14, of Bentonville, will dance the role of Clara. Spear, the daughter of George and Sue Spear of Bentonville,is in the eighth grade at St.

Vincent de Paul. The teen is a senior member of the Classical Ballet Academy and has studied ballet for more than six years.

Professional guest artists, Leah Gallas and Alberto Montesso, courtesy of the Tulsa Ballet, will dance the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier.

Montesso will also perform the Soldier Dance in the Party Scene.

Classical Youth Ballet company dancers will dance the other lead ballet roles in the second act,and the entire cast of 85 dancers features children and adults from the community.

The Nutcracker has been in rehearsals since September, said Kyle, who choreographed the ballet based on George Ballanchine’s Nutcracker, first performed in 1954 for the New York City Ballet. The score was composed by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky in 1891, for Alexandre Dumas pére’s adaptation of the story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, by E.T.A Hoffman.

Lindsey Layman, a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, designed new sets and scenery for the Kingdom of the Sweets this year.

Tickets are available for both performances; prices begin at $7 and are available online at, or patrons may call 464-0150.

Classical Ballet Academy is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing classical ballet education and performance opportunities to youth in Northwest Arkansas.

Area, Pages 11 on 12/02/2009

Print Headline: Nutcracker performances set for local youth ballet company

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