The Nutcracker ballet will be performed at Seaside Amphitheater this weekend, kicking off the season with what has become a treasured holiday tradition.
This year’s performance, which is free and open to the public, for the first time will feature young dancers from Northwest Florida alongside the usual crew from the Alpharetta Dance Theatre in Georgia. All dancers are between the ages of 8 and 18 and will perform both acts of the dance, set to a score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Rose Barile, director of the Alpharetta Dance Theatre, choreographed and will direct the performance. Barile is an honor graduate of the Julliard School, former Prima Ballerina of the Atlanta Ballet and has danced the Sugar Plum Fairy for decades.
This is the third year the Merchants of Seaside have hosted the event, but the first time Northwest Florida dancers were asked to audition.
Seleta Hayes Howard, Nutcracker ballet mistress, has been rehearsing the Northwest Florida dancers for several weeks. She said the performance gives the young dancers an opportunity to build confidence and discipline along with their dance skills.
“This gives them a great sense of achievement as well as skills they will use in all life situations,” Howard said. “It is an honor to share in this magical, cultural experience with our community and region.”
The performance will be held Saturday, November 22, at 5 p.m. at the Seaside Amphitheater and should last about one hour. No tickets are needed.
In case of inclement weather, the performance will move to Sunday, November 23, at the same time.