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Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker welcomes Denver’s student dancers on stage, Dec. 9!


Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker welcomes Denver’s student dancers on stage, Dec. 9!

Local student dancers audition, rehearse and perform side-by-side with 40 Moscow Ballet professionals             

For high-resolution images:

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

                  Justine Murphy • JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING • 413-499-1733 x14

(Berkshires, Mass.) Dec. 3, 2012– Denver areayouth have been selected to perform alongside 40 Moscow Ballet professionals in the 20th Anniversary Great Russian Nutcracker at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday, December 9 for two performances—3 pm and 7 pm. Cherry Creek Dance is the host studio for Moscow Ballet’s Student Program and a Moscow Ballet soloist serves as Audition and Rehearsal Director.

Every year since 1993, Moscow Ballet has engaged local ballet students and host studios in cities on the North American tour, offering them the most unusual opportunity of auditioning, rehearsing and performing in a professional setting. Cathy Napolitano-Mucci hosted the auditions in her studio, Dance Centre North (Syracuse, NY) for the first Great Russian Nutcracker tour and has done so every year since that the company is in town. “I know from watching my students grow and advance since the very first Moscow Ballet tour, that this is one of the most significant experiences a young dancer can have. It lifts them up and humbles them all at the same time,” remarks Cathy Mucci, “I am honored to have been Moscow Ballet’s host dance studio for 20 years.” Children ages 7 to 16, under 5’2” and with some ballet training are eligible to audition.

Selected student dancers in Act I are Party Children: Grace Cox, Grace Weinstein, Gracie Wehner, Leah Kleiner, Lena Branch, Shaun McGrath, Julie Rumpf, Jessica Volin, Seamus Peart, Sidney Harvey, McKenna Gehrke, Melanie Brown. Mice: Madison Cantwell, Rachel Berke, Lilly Jorden, Francesca Coll, Natalie Garland, Olivia Johnson, Riley Nabberfield, Ellie Lozow, Ireland Miller, Kaarina Parker. Snowflakes: Isabella McGrath, Adeline Strickler, Marin Cantwell, Charlotte Luth, Abigail Lozow, Ella Moore, Aeri Osha, Lila Moldenhauer, Tiffany Diaz, Terra Booe, Frances Sullivan, Alexis Tiryakioglu. Angels: Jasmine Moore, Zoe, Isabella Marchiol, Gigi Emerson, Grace Cox, Grace Weinstein, Grace Wehner, Leah Kleiner, Shaun McGrath, Julie Rumpf, Jessica Volin, Sidney Harvey. Butterflies: Kyra Lozow, McKenna Gehrke, Riley Brogan. Dancers in Act II’s variations are Spanish: Olivia Johnson, Rachel Berke, Lilly Jorden, Arianna Hartanov, Emma Knor. Russian: Seamus Peart, Lena Branch, Melanie Brown, Shayna Glazer, Lauren McDonald. French: Ellie Lozow, Madison Cantwell.Chinese: Francesca Coll, Alexis Tiryakioglu, Olivia Arthur, Charlotte Thayer.

For tickets visit For groups of 10 or more, call 800-320-1733 x15.

Cherry Creek Dance owner, Stephanie Prosenjak, opened the studio in 1994 bringing with her some of the top dancers from around the Denver metro area as teachers and as students. Since opening, Cherry Creek Dance has experienced great performances at events such as Denver Broncos Halftime, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival and Disneyland's Magic Music Days. Prosenjak is a musical theater performer, Denver Nuggets Dancer, Denver Broncos Cheerleader (captain and pro bowl representative), corporate/industrial show dancer and performer at many social/charity functions. She has performed across the US and in Mexico, Spain, Japan and Hawaii.

Over 20 Years 50,000+ Children Receive Arts EnrichmentMoscow Ballet’s 20th anniversary Great Russian Nutcracker celebrates the 50,000+ student dancers (an average of 50 students in 50 cities over 20 years time) who have performed along-side the Russian cast of 40 on annual North American tours.  The commitment to deliver children’s programming, in tandem with acclaimed ballet performances, began twenty years earlier when Moscow Ballet producers, then working with Connecticut Dance Theatre, invited Dance Theater of Harlem directors to work with their Hartford students. Among those dedicated students was Charmaine Hunter who went on to become star of Arthur Mitchell’s Fire Bird.  Other children’s programming includes 1984 “Cynthia Gregory Celebration Tour” with the “Just Say No” campaign as it’s official message and chaired by First Lady Nancy Reagan; Russian-Cultural Ballet program produced in museums and art institutions; “Cinderella Around the World” dance and literacy program; and “First International Glasnost Festival Tours” included symposiums, screenings, poetry readings, and more for students and public at Dartmouth, Yale, and other colleges.  Today Moscow Ballet offers all children New Horizons – A Children’s Program for Life addressing diet, exercise and creative expression through interactive experiences with Moscow Ballet dancers.

Moscow Ballet’s 20th AnniversaryGreat Russian Nutcrackeroverflows with spectacularand award-winning principal dancer Karyna Shatkovskaya and Vladimir Tkachenko; company of 40 women and men; Christmas Tree that grows to 5 stories tall; playful 10’ tall silk puppets; 200 all new, hand-made costumes; and falling snow.

Russian cultural elements include a Troika styled sleigh escorted by Ded Moroz (Father Christmas) and Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) and 9 hand-painted backdrops by Valentin Federov, set to Tchaikovsky’s complete Nutcracker Suite score. For 20 years Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker performances have introduced the finest Russian ballerinas and danseurs to audiences across North America. Great Russian Nutcracker - 20 years of acclaim, 20 years of soaring holiday spirit!



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