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THEATER : An early holiday classic

A holiday tradition that brings professional dancers together with dozens of locals in a holiday spectacle will be in UND's Chester Fritz Auditorium in Grand Forks on Sunday.

A holiday tradition that brings professional dancers together with dozens of locals in a holiday spectacle will be in UND's Chester Fritz Auditorium in Grand Forks on Sunday.

The Moscow Ballet will bring its 2007 Great Russian Nutcracker to more than 90 cities across America beginning this month, celebrating its 15th annual U.S. tour. Artistic directors Anatoli Emelianov and Vladimier Trashenko will lead simultaneous tours of the beloved holiday classic.

"The thing that is nice about this one is that it does involve all of the local dancers," said Betty Allen, director of the Chester Fritz. "It brings the community together by involving the local dancer."

The Nutcracker has been acclaimed for exquisite dancing and spectacular sets and costumes, making it a holiday treat - even though this year's performance is on Veterans Day, and well before the official start of the traditional holiday season.

This Nutcracker has been praised by critics for its setting of Act II in the "Land of Peace and Harmony," a news release said. To convey a message of peace, Emelianov incorporated a dove that escorts Masha and the Prince to a land where there is no war and suffering.


The Moscow Ballet honors its commitment to the arts by using local children in each market, organizers said, to appear with the 132 Russian dancers on the tours. Last year, more than 6,000 U.S. children performed with the Moscow Ballet, a news release said.

A rich backdrop

The show's scenes are full of dancing, larger-than-life puppets and the backdrop of unicorns, exotic birds and animals. The sets were inspired by the art of French Post-Impressionist painter Henri Rousseau, a news release said.

Ballet Master Trashenko will introduce prima ballerinas Masha Makerneko, Ekatherine Bortyakova (winner Vaganova, Kazan, Arabesque IBCs) and principal artists Dmitri Zavalevich and Akjol Musakhanov.

Here's a list of local dancers who will perform in Nutcracker, according to a list provided by local dance studio Dance Etc!.

-- Danah Albaaj, Morgan Barry, Sydnee Boucher, Emily Brekke, Michayla Burckhard, Allison Burns, Kenzie Carlson, Megan Chute, Elle Anna Davidson, Maiecia Dukes, Ciana Fish, Ema Ganyo, Olivia Geddes, Sarah Gerszewski, Danielle Goettle, Nicole Gourneau, Nelenah GreyEyes, Caitlyn Hanson, Jalen Hanson, Madison Herbeck, Kjersten Herting, Madison Hesse, Alyssa Hillman, Hannah Hillman, Anisa Holwerda, Cheyanne Hopkins, Destre Hopkins, Ariel Hunter, Erin Hylden, Rachel Iiams, Janzyn Jacob, Jezyka Jacob, Maggie Jensen, Abby Johnson, Danica Kemnitz, Grace Kemnitz, Kayla Klein, Natalye Kobetsky, Alexa Kovar, Avery Kovar, Cassidy Kuntz, Autumn Lord, Payton Lord, Alexis Lunski, Brianna Lynnes, Muira MacRae, Shelby Marx, Sarah McCloud, Ashlee McDew, Ingrid Meberg, Alyssa Mitzel, Bri Molmen, Emilee Ohman, Nicole Oncken, Sydney Purpur, Koryn Rolshoven, Manuela Sampaio, Amber Sampson, Casey Schleif, Kelsey Schommer, Kasidi Scott, Ashley Skinner, Caitlyn Smith, Morgan Stevens, Mackenzie Vacura, MacKenzie Vodden, Jada Watson, Tiana Watson, Chloe Whiteside, Courtney Young and Ky Yutrzenka.

Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or ptobin@gfherald.com .

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