Ballet students from Fusion 802, a South Burlington dance studio owned by Nicola Boutin, participate in the Albany Berkshire Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” dancing alongside professional dancers. Back row L-R Madison Preiss, Hanna Gustafson, Braden Paquin, Desmond Carrico, Hanlan Paquin, and Zoe Richardson. Middle row L-R Callidora Stamm, Harper Gutheim, Gretchen Wertlieb, Maggie Leuschner, Hannah Kuhlmeier, Meg Ruben, and Lisa Zhou-Hackett. Front row L-R Rosalynn Manalo, Adele Carta, Chiara Bella DePolo, Makayla Farnham, and Addison Kuhlmeier.

Local Children Dance in Annual Tour of “The Nutcracker”

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Wednesday November 22, 2017

The Albany Berkshire Ballet (ABB) 43rd annual tour of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” features local dance students in special children’s roles, who dance alongside the professional dancers of the ABB. One of five cities on the ABB tour, Burlington hosts the signature ballet at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts November 25 and 26 with evening and matinee performances.

A holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker” tells the story of a young girl, Clara, and the magical dream she has one Christmas Eve. Set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, the story follows the adventures of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they conquer the Mouse King and embark on a magical journey to The Land of Sweets.

Fusion 802 ballet students from South Burlington who are performing with the ABB include Hanna Gustafson, Maggie Leuschner, Rosalynn Manala, Braden Paquin, Hanlan Paquin, Meg Ruben, Gretchen Wertlieb, and Lisa Zhou-Hackett. Vermont students, from 13 different northern Vermont ballet schools, were chosen by rehearsal mistress Helena Sullivan, artistic director of the Stowe Dance Academy, at an audition.

The ABB production is choreographed by artistic director Madeline Cantarella Culpo. Sets and scenery created by theater and movie set designer Carl Sprague, a Stockbridge native, and costumes were designed by Rita Watson and Victile Donahue.

ABB has brought this acclaimed production to the Northeast since 1974. This year’s tour includes more than 500 young students, including 17 young dancers who will have the opportunity to portray the beloved role of Clara. Performance venues include theaters in Albany, New York and Pittsfield, Springfield, and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Visit for tour, ticketing, and box office information.