The Tyler Junior College Academy of Dance is preparing for the 35th annual production of one of its most time-honored traditions, “The Nutcracker” ballet.
Performances are scheduled for Friday-Sunday, Dec. 1-3 and Dec. 8-10, in Wise Auditorium, located in the Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center on the TJC central campus.
Show times are:
• 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8
• 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9
• 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10
Tickets are on sale at TJC.edu/Nutcracker.
The production is under the direction of Carolyn Hanna, director of the TJC Academy of Dance and chair of the TJC Department of Dance.
Assistant choreographers are TJC dance professors Shurrell Wiebe, Thereza Bryce-Cotes, Kristi Franks and TJC dance department alum Kileigh Johnson.
“‘The Nutcracker’ is such a wonderful introduction to the magic of ballet,” Hanna said. “I love incorporating our exceptional dancers in this show! Our students have worked hard for several months to present this production to the community. We are so humbled by the support of East Texans and are excited to offer two weekends of performances to fill the demand!”
She continued, “This year, we have more than 150 performers, and you can definitely feel the excitement on the stage. These dancers have been rehearsing since September, so the end result will be something quite remarkable.”
Vlada Arizonova and Benjamin Simoens will perform the featured roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.
Vlada Arizonova is TJC's inaugural Artist in Residence to help promote artists in need in the community. She is a Ukrainian refugee continuing her studies through the TJC Academy of Dance. She began her training with the National Opera of Ukraine in Kyiv and performed in the St. Petersburg Festival Ballet. She continued her performance career with The National Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Odessa. She has toured the world performing in the United States, Germany, Finland, Czech Republic, Iceland, Austria, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and Greece. She has performed “Sleeping Beauty,” “Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake,” “Raymonda,” “Giselle, “Don Quixote,” “Corsair,” and many other notable roles throughout her career.
Benjamin Simoens began his dance training at Lauridsen Ballet Center in Torrance, California, at the age of 5. After high school, he attended the Juilliard School and graduated in 2019. At Juilliard, he performed works by Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, José Limon, Alejandro Cerrudo, William Forsythe, Aszure Barton, Roy Assaf, Stefanie Batten-Bland, and many others. In the fall of 2019, Simoens joined the Milwaukee Ballet Company, where he has been showcased in works by Darrell Grand Moultrie, Aleix Mañé, and Danielle Rowe. He has been asked to participate in project-based works with both SFDanceworks in San Francisco, California, and Chamber Dance Project in Washington, D.C.
Local cast members
This year’s roster of local performers: Emery Townes Adair, Aspen Adams, Elliot Faye Agan, Morgan Aldinger, Luna Antunez, Betsy Ashwood, Ellis Ann Ashwood, Caroline Bailey, Elena Baldwin, Karista Baldwin, Rose Barton, Kathryn Beard, Jadyn Berryhill, Jamie Black, Alice Black, Matthew Black, Chrystina Blackwell, Khai Blaylock, Kathryn Bloser, Judah Boaz, Carly Boaz, Fernanda Bomer, Bryce Borden, Violetta Borelli, Audrey Boren, Izabel “Izzy” Charlotte Bradshaw, Kennedy Bragg, Camila Bravo, Cambrie Brooks, Claire Elaine Brown, Trisha Brown, Jenna Faith Broyles, Natalie Broyles, Cailyn Bryce-Cotes, Vivian Butron, Caroline Caccitolo, Sofía Calderón, Lillyana Cash, Ginger Christiansen, Harley Crymes, Lorelai Cummins, Winter Cummins, Jace Curtis, Madison Daniel, Kathryn David, Rowyn Davis, Qwynnen Davis, Wynnslo Davis, Eduardo Delgado, Addie Draffen, Kaylynn Draffen, Caleigh Duquette, Zoey Dyer, Vivienne Elliott, Winry Erwin, Caylie Fernandez, Sarah Paige Fisher, Julia Forrest, Cai Franks, Stella Franks, Olivia Gale, Kylie Gandy, Lillian Gardiner, Julia Gloria, Taynara Gomez, Brookelyn Grant, Stephen Green, Jules Ashley Gregory, Leah Haley, Tesla Hartweg, Rian Hendrix, Matthew Hogan, Jordin Hopkins, Sarah Kathryn Judith Howell, Kylie Hull, Jenae Hull, Hannah Hunter, Claire Hutcheson, Luke Hutcheson, Margaret Hutchins, Tae’kiria Jackson, Landry Jackson, Lily Jakubik, Leland Jakubik, Maxwell Jakubik, Felicia Jarrett, Colin Jensen, Kyrie Jensen, Sophie Jernigan, Ainsley Jones, Evay Joyce, Isabelle Adelaide Judson, Annabel Langford, Yulisa Ledesma, Mackenzie Lee, Kaylee Lesniewski, Caroline Lesniewski, Anjalia Elena Sledge, Daneli Macedo, Lucy Anne Mackintosh, Kate Margraves, Kara Marrs, Abigail Marrs, Lillian Marrs, Mary-Meadows Marshall, Vivienne Marshall, Isabella Martinez, Nalani Mata, Ann Marie Mayfield, Cierra Mays, Madelyn McClellan, Julia McClure, Tatum McDonald, Tenley Jayne Mckinzie, Charlotte Mercer, Nina Bales Mikkelsen, Nicole Mitchell, Valentina Morales, Delia Nava, Mia Clare Nelson, Katherine Niu, Evie Noteware, Scarlett Oliver, Victoria Eliza Ortega, Paola A. Ortega, Gentry Owens, Annabelle Pace, Molly Patterson, Kaitlin Pearce, Perry Meriwether Perkins, Jason Phillips, Allie Phillips, Ella Pierce, Tyler Pierce, Emily Pierce, Ainsley Pierce, Victoria Pool, Laney Porter, London Porter, Georgia Price, Liliana Evelyn Rains, Stella Ramirez, Emma Ray, Scarlett Reel, Ainsley Rhodus, Angela Riddle, Robin Riddle, Nohemi Rivera, Pippa Roberts, Hannah Robinette, Reggie Robinson, Sidney Roden, Samuel Glenn Rodgers, Jocelyn Rodriguez, Reagan Ryal, McKinley Ryal, Santiago Sarabia, Lily Scarborough, Audrey Scarborough, Emery Schimpf, Emma Scott, Sylvia Secrest, Emma Shubert, Elizabeth Simmons, Tenley Smiley, Juliana Smith, Catherine Smith, Fiona Solly, Iris Solly, Phoebe Solly, Leah Soto, Mary Margaret Stoltz, Lillian Stoltz, Sierra Stoner, Laurel Stout, Otto Garin Straus, Charlotte Stuebing, Joslyn Swinney, Brooklyn Thomas, Madison Thompson, Alexis Thompson, Amelia True, Elleigh True, Rose Tucker, Natalie Umbower, Emily Rose Vahovius, Samantha Vañle, Andrea Velez, Faith Wade, Ella Walker, Ava Wamboldt, Ivy Wamboldt, Naomi Warriner, Kayla Whitaker, McKinley Whitehead, Maggie Whitehead, Carolyn Lucille Whitener, Molly Anita Whitener, Brynn Wilder, Isabella Williamson, Sawyer Wilson, Mary Martha Woods, Sidney Claire Woolverton and Lily Grace York.