Erica Pereira and Daniel Ulbricht, New York City ballet artists, will perform the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier in the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet's 2012 Nutcracker, which will be held at the Reg Lenna Civic Center on Dec. 14-15.
"We are thrilled to give our young dancers the opportunity to share the stage with world-renowned artists and also thrilled to give our community the opportunity to see two dancers from one of the world's greatest ballet companies perform right here in Jamestown," said Monika Alch, Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet artistic director.
Ulbricht, principal dancer, was born in St. Petersburg, Fla., and began his dance training at the age of 11 at the Judith Lee Johnson Studio of Dance, studying with Lenny Holmes. He also studied at Les Jeunes Danseurs with Javier Dubraq and attended the Chautauqua Summer Dance Program, training with Jean Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. In 1999, Ulbricht was invited by the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, to continue his training during their Winter Program. There, Ulbricht performed with the New York City Ballet as a jester in Peter Martins' The Sleeping Beauty. In December 2000, he became an apprentice with New York City Ballet and in November 2001 he joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet. In January 2005, Ulbricht was promoted to the rank of soloist and principal dancer in May 2005.
Erica Pereira, soloist, was born in Northport, N.Y. She began studying ballet at the age of 8 and enrolled at Ballet Academy East when she was 10. In 2005, Ms. Pereira began studying at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. She attended summer programs at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Ms. Pereira became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in December 2006. While an apprentice, Ms. Pereira danced the role of Juliet in Peter Martins' Romeo & Juliet as part of the 2007 spring season. She joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet that May. In December 2009 Ms. Pereira was promoted to soloist
Other guest artists performing in this year's production are Jordan Spencer, who will portray Herr Drosselmeyer, and Brittany Bush, who will dance the role of Arabian.
The production has become a holiday tradition for many families and this year's production promises magic, excitement and inspiring performances for everyone. The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara, who falls into a deep, dreamy sleep after an exciting holiday party at which Herr Drosselmeyer presents her with a gift of a nutcracker. As she dreams, Clara embarks on a fantasy journey with her nutcracker prince beginning with an exciting battle with the Rat King and his army of mice followed by a visit to the magical Kingdom of Sweets. There, they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and her court of sweets who perform their favorite dances in Clara's honor. It ends with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier performing a beautiful and exciting pas-de-deux.
Ms. Alch said in addition to seeing Ms. Pereira and Ulbricht dance, the audience will also be impressed by the caliber of performance presented by Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet ballet students. Solos such as the Dew Drop, the Snow Queen and Spanish will be performed by Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet advanced students, and almost 70 other cast members including both CRYB students and community members will round out the cast. In addition to the public performances, Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet will also present a performance for area schools on Friday morning. Schools interested in attending should contact the Reg Lenna Box Office.
Public performances are scheduled 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Ticket prices for the Nutcracker are $25 for loge seating; $18 for adults; $12 for students and seniors. Tickets may be reserved by calling the Reg Lenna Box Office at 484-7070.
Sponsors include the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation Inc. and M&T Bank.