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Northwest Florida Ballet presents The Nutcracker Nov. 23-24

A Timeless Holiday Favorite

Featuring the Stars of BalletMet

This November the Northwest Florida Ballet (NFB) will once again grace the stage with visions of dancing sugar plums, graceful snow flurries, and magical dolls in its 33nd annual presentation of The Nutcracker.

Two performances will be held at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center on November 23 at 7:30 pm and November 24 at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $28 for adults and $14 for children 12 and under. Tickets will be available for purchase online at or by calling 850-664-7787 beginning Friday, October 18.

The Nutcracker has been an annual favorite for thousands of families all over the world. Although it was first performed to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s captivating score in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892, the first American production of the ballet wasn’t introduced until 1944 when Willem Christensen staged it for the San Francisco Ballet. Ten years later George Balanchine immortalized The Nutcracker with his famous production at the New York City Ballet which featured an immense Christmas tree magically rising from the stage during the first act. Since that time The Nutcracker has become the most widely attended ballet in America.

Photo by Robert Barton

Photo by Robert Barton

So why do families keep coming back to see The Nutcracker year after year? “There is really nothing like it to give you the holiday spirit and to make unique memories that will last forever,” explains Todd Allen, Northwest Florida Ballet’s Artistic Director/CEO and choreographer. “Every year we see generations of families that come to share the experience with each other. It’s a celebration of childhood fantasy and the power of human imagination and that is something everyone can relate to.”

The production has a cast of over 100 dancers which includes many local children, NFB Company members and an impressive array of international guest artists.

The role of Clara will be danced by Miya Mobley and Avery Jarrard will play the part of the high-spirited Fritz. NFB Company member Max Murdock will perform the role of the Harlequin Doll and Ellie Borick will perform the role of the Columbine Doll. NFB Principal Dancer Katia Garza will dance the role of The Sugar Plum Fairy with Andres Estevez of Ballet Met, Columbus Ohio dancing the role of her Prince. Sarah Comstock Goud will perform the roles of Snow Queen and Dew Drop Fairy; Carlos Madera, J Ryan Carroll and Billy Blanken will round out the cast of international guest artists with their portrayals of The Nutcracker Prince, Snow King, Spanish, Russian, and Arabian dancers.

The Nutcracker performances are sponsored by VIE Magazine, Bit Wizards, the Howard Group/Silver Sands Outlet Center, and the St. Joe Community Foundation. In addition to its two public performances, NFB will also present two performances for area school children and special needs groups. These performances are part of NFB’s Education and Outreach services and will be held on November 21 and 22 at 10:00 am. Please call NFB at 664-7787 for further information or visit

View VIE’s video from the cover shoot with NF Ballet in Nov. 2012

Photo by Robert Barton

Photo by Robert Barton

The Northwest Florida Ballet celebrates its 44th year as a regionally recognized semi-professional ballet company and school. In addition, NFB has developed the nationally acclaimed NFB Académie – an integrated academic and dance education program serving 144 students from the third to eighth grade. The NFB Pre-Professional Program, which serves high school students who wish to pursue dance professionally, is also thriving. The NFB is led by Artistic Director and CEO Todd Eric Allen, an area native. The NFB is funded in part by the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

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