Ballet captures holiday spirit

Special to The Facts
Published December 4, 2005

Festival Ballet’s production of “The Houston Children’s Nutcracker” returns to the stage this month for the ninth annual performance of the holiday classic.

Performances will be at 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18 at the San Jacinto College Fine Arts Center, 13735 Beamer Road in Houston.

The production features Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, professional guest artists and members of Festival Ballet, as well as some of the most promising young dancers from across the Greater Houston area, including Brazoria County and the Academy of Ballet and Dance Arts.

“The Houston Children’s Nutcracker” provides a performance opportunity for aspiring young dancers to appear on a professional stage with professional costumes, lighting and international guest artists. Open auditions were held in September across the Houston area.

“The Nutcracker” is a fairy-tale story that never fails to enchant — from the Christmas tree that grows, spinning snowflakes and waltzing flowers, to the toy soldiers battling the Mouse King, and, of course, the Nutcracker Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her dashing Cavalier.

“It’s a wonderful story that never grows old,” said Deborah Rayburn, Festival Ballet’s artistic director. “(It’s) a beloved holiday tradition that touches the hearts of young and old alike.”

Guest artists for this production include Robert Underwood as the Sugar Cavalier (former principal dancer of the American Ballet Theater and Boston Ballet) and his charming Sugar Plum Fairy, Tonya Whitmore.

For ticket information, call (832) 830-5987 or visit the Web site www.houstonchildrens

For information on becoming a sponsor of “The Houston Children’s Nutcracker by giving a tax-deductible donation, call 832-830-5987.
Sponsors help the 501(c)3 youth dance company stage the ballet. A portion of proceeds will be donated to another children’s charity.


Good pointe

The Festival Ballet production of “The Houston Children’s Nutcracker” will be Dec. 17 and 18 at San Jacinto College. For ticket info, call 832-830-5987 or visit www. houstonchildrens