Approximately 500 4th and 5th graders from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District were treated to an abbreviated performance of Westside Ballet of Santa Monica’s “The Nutcracker” on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
The presentation took place at The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica Performing Arts Center.
Children saw 10 beautifully choreographed scenes from Westside’s regular full-length production, set to Tchaikovsky’s majestic score, performed by fully costumed Westside Ballet dancers, aged 10-18.
Many of the dancers are also enrolled at Santa Monica- Malibu Unified District schools. “The Nutcracker” storyline was narrated by Westside Ballet Associate Artistic Director Caprice Walker.
A Q&A session was held afterward, allowing students to ask questions of the dancers. Each child received a Nutcracker to take home.
Dr. Ellen Edeburn, SMMUSD director of secondary curriculum and visual and performing arts programs commented, “We are thrilled that approximately 1,000 4th and 5th graders from throughout SMMUSD are able to enjoy such a professional performance of the Nutcracker featuring many SMMUSD students.
“This opportunity is made possible through the partnership between Westside Ballet, Santa Monica College, City of Santa Monica and SMMUSD. We are also grateful to Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who donated the funds for the transportation of our students to and from the Broad Stage at SMC.”
Westside Ballet of Santa Monica is a non-profit, pre-professional ballet company committed to a robust educational outreach that provides substantive academic and performance opportunities for community youth.
Since 2013, the company has donated these abbreviated Nutcracker performances to introduce community youth to classical dance and music. This year’s presentations are also sponsored by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Santa Monica College, the City of Santa Monica, and Los Angeles County.
A second abbreviated Nutcracker performance for an additional 500 SMMUSD students was held Friday, Dec. 4. Public presentations of the full Nutcracker ballet at The Broad Stage at Santa Monica Performing Arts Center sold out.