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June 9, 2011- Moscow Ballet and the Associated Humane Societies

Moscow Ballet and the Associated Humane Societies announce partnership to raise funds for Popcorn Park Refuge
Russian professionals help support Popcorn Park Refuge’s exploited and injured exotic and farm animals

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Dante – resident at Popcorn Park Refuge, NJ
Dante – resident at Popcorn Park Refuge, NJ

Contact: Sally Michael Keyes
413-499-1733 x21 JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

(Berkshires, MA) June 9, 2011 – Moscow Ballet and the Associated Humane Societies (AHS), headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, announce a partnership to raise funds for AHS and Popcorn Park Refuge located in Forked River. Five dollars from each ticket sold, for the Wednesday, December 7, 7:30pm performance of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Strand Theatre, will go directly to help abandoned, injured and abused animals at Popcorn Park Zoo. AHS Director, Roseann Trezza, comments, “Filling the 1000+ seat theatre would mean thousands of dollars going to the Res-Q Fund saving animals that are sick, injured, abused and abandoned; or the Safe Haven Program rescuing victimized pets from domestic violence situations or pets surviving their caretakers; or the Adoption Program matching rehabilitated animal orphans with loving “forever families”. The Moscow Ballet performance is premiering in Lakewood and features award-winning principal dancers, a corps of 30 plus, 200 lavish costumes, larger-than-life Russian puppets and 9 hand-painted backdrops that are embellished with 3-D effects – a must see for the whole family! Moscow Ballet’s beloved Christmas story received critical acclaim in 2010; “Expansive…Knock-out…Thrill” NY Times; ”Breathtaking” Charleston Today; and “Aristocratic finesse” Cleveland Plain Dealer. 2011 marks Moscow Ballet’s 19th annual Great Russian Nutcracker tour of 2 companies to 60+ cities across North America. To purchase tickets and simultaneously make a donation to the Associated Humane Societies, use the code “POPCORN” at the Strand Box Office in person or call Moscow Ballet 800-320-1733 x15.

Associated Humane Societies, founded in 1906, is the largest animal sheltering system in New Jersey. It is comprised of three shelters located in Newark, Forked River, and Tinton Falls. The Forked River facility also includes Popcorn Park Zoo. Established in 1977, Popcorn Park Zoo is a sanctuary for abandoned, injured, ill, exploited, abused or elderly wildlife, exotic and farm animals, and birds. The Society is a not for profit, 501 (c) 3 organization, and Popcorn Park is also a federally licensed zoo. The Society prides itself on its devotion to the thousands of animals that are cared for annually.

The Great Russian Nutcracker - Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker tells the beloved Christmas story of the girl who falls in love with a Nutcracker Prince – with Russian flair. Praised by the NY Times as “thrilling and expansive,” the 40 impeccably trained Russian dancers leap, spin and lunge bringing the traditional story to life. The Act I Christmas party enchants with its magical toys, evil Mouse King and a journey through the glittering Snow Forest. Unique to the Great Russian Nutcracker, Russian folk characters Father Christmas and the Snow Maiden escort Masha (aka Clara) to the Land of Peace and Harmony in Act II where she and the Nutcracker Prince are honored by emissaries from heritages the world over; African, Russian, Asian, European and Hispanic. Set to Pytor Tchaikovsky’s famous score, Moscow Ballet’s production features lavish costumes, nine hand-painted backdrops with 3-D ornamentation and fanciful, larger-than-life puppets designed by Russian puppet master Valentin Federov. A must see show for everyone in the family this holiday season!

History - Akiva Talmi Presents Inc. (ATP) is now known for its annual, touring Great Russian Nutcracker and full-length productions of the classic story-ballets; Swan Lake, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and others by the Moscow Ballet. ATP produced the “Cynthia Gregory National Tour” with Nancy Reagan as Honorary Chair; the “From the Top” NPR TV special featuring NYCB’s Violette Verdi and Itzhak Perlman, the “Alexander Godunov” national tour and more. Created by award-winning Juilliard alumnus, composer/conductor and theatrical producer, Akiva Talmi, ATP evolved out of the all-star Russian "Glasnost Festival Tour" (1986-92). The Great Russian Nutcracker made its debut in 1993 and was directed and choreographed by soloist Stanislav Vlasov of the famous Bolshoi Theater. In 1994, the Moscow State Theatre of Natalia Sats and the theatre's full orchestra joined Moscow Ballet to expand the company to an 88-artist tour which was billed as the "19th Century Classical Nutcracker." In 2003, Anatoly Emelianov, then an upstart choreographer and winner of the Diagelev award, restaged the Great Russian Nutcracker to critical acclaim. Moscow Ballet productions continue to feature award-winning principals and top graduates of Perm, Vaganova, Moscow State Academic Choreographic and Kiev schools.

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