The Villager - November 26, 2003
By: TARA MULLEE, Villager staff


Christmas is a time of traditions -- repeating old ones and creating new ones. For some families, one of these traditions is attending a performance of "The Nutcracker" each year.

Festival Ballet, a semi-professional dance company housed in the Academy of Ballet and Dance Arts, is providing the community with an opportunity to see "The Nutcracker."

Its performances will  be held in McCullough's Bock Center, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14.
The 2 p.m. Dec. 13 show will also be "Sugar Plum Day at the Ballet." Parents can bring their children dressed in their favorite costumes to the performance, and each child will receive a gift.

Festival Ballet was founded by its artistic director, Deborah Rayburn, in 1996. Rayburn developed the choreography for the company's production of "The Nutcracker," which features the Academy's advanced ballet students as well as guest professionals.

Young Festival Ballet dancers from The Woodlands, south Montgomery County, north Harris County and Brazoria County will perform in "The Nutcracker."
Guest artists will include Norbert Nirewicz of the Polish National Ballet as the Sugar Cavalier, Rolando Yanes of the Milwaukee Ballet as Prince Zepher, and Sara Durham of the Indiana Ballet Theater as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Tickets cost $12 for general seating and may be purchased by phone at (281) 292-9441 or online at Tickets are also available at the Academy, 27326 Robinson Road in The Woodlands, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

With "The Nutcracker" in the neighborhood this holiday season, it will be difficult to find an excuse not to make this ballet a new Christmas tradition.