American Repertory Ballet selects six local New Brunswick students to perform in “Nutcracker” at State Theatre

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October 26, 2015

Photo By George Jones NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey’s top professional ballet company, will return to New Brunswick, NJ this year with performances of Nutcracker at State Theatre. To further connect with the New Brunswick community, American Repertory Ballet recently held auditions for local children to perform alongside its professional dancers in Nutcracker on Friday, December 18.

In early October, children auditioned for the role of the mice in ARB’s Nutcracker. The mice take part in the famous battle scene in the ballet, where the main character Clara dreams that tiny mice in her living room grow giant and take on the army of toy soldiers and the Nutcracker prince.

The six children that were selected to perform as this year’s Nutcracker Community Mice are: Montserrat Guerra (1st Grade) and Lila Grantz (1st Grade) from Irving School in Highland Park, Heaven Dolores Luciano (4th grade) from Smalley Middle School in Bound Brook, Natalye Avila Martinez (1st grade) and Vanessa Avila Martinez (2nd grade) from Paul Robeson School in New Brunswick, and Yarisa Perez Santana (1st Grade) from Livingston School in New Brunswick.

The mission of American Repertory Ballet (ARB) is “to bring the joy, beauty, artistry and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and nationwide audiences through public performances and to dance students through artistic and educational programs.” This year’s “Community Mice Initiative” aims at fulfilling this mission in an immersive way that will expose children to a professional environment and challenge them to achieve performance goals.

“We are thrilled to bring this opportunity to the children of New Brunswick and the surrounding communities,” says Lisa Beth Vettoso, Director of Educational and Community Programming. “New Brunswick is one of our homes. We have our administrative offices and one of our Princeton Ballet School studio locations here. This year, we celebrate 30 years of DANCE POWER, our program with the New Brunswick School District that is the longest-running arts and community partnership in the state. What a great year to begin the ‘Community Mice Initiative’ in this community! We are excited to offer New Brunswick children not only an exciting performance opportunity, but also a wonderful, immersive learning experience with role models in the arts.”