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Expressions, the Dance Company presents 'Nutcracker'

Among the characters in the The Nutcracker ballet are the Harlequin (Katie Miesner, 14), Clara (Kaitlyn Picazio, 12), the Soldier (Samantha Mailhot, 14)) and Columbine (Cassidy McKenna, 14).

Expressions, the Dance Company

Among the characters in the The Nutcracker ballet are the Harlequin (Katie Miesner, 14), Clara (Kaitlyn Picazio, 12), the Soldier (Samantha Mailhot, 14)) and Columbine (Cassidy McKenna, 14).

Expressions, the Dance Company, will mark the holiday season with its 15th edition of Tchaikovsky's beloved Nutcracker ballet. The 50-member troupe, made up of adults and students from throughout the area, will present the colorful show at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge in New Port Richey.

The Nutcracker is the story of a young girl, Clara (Kaitlyn Picazio, 12), whose Uncle Drosselmeyer gives her a wooden Nutcracker at a large family gathering on Christmas Eve.

After everyone goes to sleep, Clara tiptoes back downstairs to check on her gift, but encounters a fearsome Rat King (Diane Galilit, dance instructor), who is doing battle with the toy soldiers. She's rescued by the now life-sized Nutcracker (Margarita Diamantopulos, 16), and is then transported to a magic land, where she is entertained by a beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy (Bella Calafiura) and her Cavalier (Eriberto Jimenez), as well as angels, cooks, maids, sleigh drivers, heralds, dancing flowers and snowflakes and dancers.

The show has become a tradition, not only for local dance lovers, but for Ms. Calafiura, who played Clara in the 2004 edition and has danced the roles of Dew Drop Fairy or Sugar Plum in indoor and outdoor presentations since 2008. She was the only dancer from the United State eligible to take part in the International Adeline Genee Ballet Competition held in Singapore in 2009. She has been chosen to participate in intensive workshops with professional ballet troupes in Orlando, Houston, New York and both Long Beach and San Francisco, Calif.

Jimenez is a soloist with the International Ballet Company (Miami), Miami Hispanic Ballet and Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami. He is also the assistant director and coordinator for the International Ballet Festival of Miami and president of the board for the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami. He has danced the role of Cavalier with Expressions since 2002.

Expressions has attracted experienced dancers from many area studios and also involved entire families in the productions in both dancing and nondancing roles.

.If you go

A classic returns

The Nutcracker, a ballet, performed by Expressions, the Dance Company, at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. Tickets are $15 adults, $12 ages 10 and younger and 65 and older. Call (727) 505-6211 or (727) 967-8225.

Two other dance companies will perform The Nutcracker at the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel, 30651 Wells Road, Wesley Chapel. The All American Ballet Classical School presents the show at 4 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15 at the door. America's Ballet School of Tampa presents the show at 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10. Tickets are $20. Call (813) 794-8772 or (727) 774-8772.

Expressions, the Dance Company presents 'Nutcracker' 12/01/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 2:08pm]

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