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East End Performing Arts Center Searching For Dancers To Join The Nutcracker "Sweet" Ballet Program

Lindsay Andarakis

Young performers take the stage at the WHBPAC. (Photo: Jon Holderer)

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is rejoicing in anticipation of their fifth year of producing the Nutcracker "Sweet" Ballet with its Dancecore Ballet Program. Student dancers aged 5 to 18 are welcomed to participate in this well-liked ballet residency that will run from Tuesday, September 16, to Friday, December 12, and have three public performances on Saturday, December 13, and Sunday, December 14.

Adolescent dancers will most definitely have visions of sugarplums dancing as they practice and receive ballet instruction from the Artistic Director, Christiana Bitonti and Dancecore Principal Dancer, Rochelle Martin. When the PAC introduced this program fourteen years ago, it had a mere 25 students. Last year, the program had increased to 70 students and even more are expected to sign up this year. This year, there will be a third matinee performance on Saturday, December 13.

Ballet students will dance beside a company of six professionals, some of whom have danced major roles with the distinguished Ballet Long Island and renowned dance companies like Eglevsky Ballet, the Ailey School and David Parsons and the Parsons Dance Company. This year's performance will introduce several innovative magical features and surprises to please the audience.

The Nutcracker tells the much-loved tale of Clara, a young girl who takes a supernatural journey to the Land of Sweets alongside her Nutcracker Prince. After Clara receives a magnificent Nutcracker from her uncle, she finds herself on an enchanted voyage along with her Nutcracker Prince. They travel through a snowy forest and finally reach the Kingdom of Sweets. The dance pieces have been revamped and there will be a longer and more exciting Christmas Eve party scene than in previous years.

The program is $375 for children ages 11 and under, and $385 for children 12 and over.

The WHBPAC is located at 76 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. For more information, visit www.whbpac.org.

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