Pacific Festival Ballet’s Nutcracker
T he time-honored tradition of attending Pacific Festival Ballet’s famous Nutcracker Ballet featuring guest artists Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia, principal dancers from New York City Ballet, is upon us.
“This is our sixth year returning to Pacific Festival Ballet. We enjoy the professionalism and warmth of the company,” says Peck. Regional guest artists and PFB alumni alike return to perform in this exquisite event comprising a cast of 150 dancers. The breathtaking collection of talented dancers, opulent costumes and detailed staging culminate in a delightful snowfall for the entire audience to experience.
Pacific Festival Ballet’s longevity goes beyond the return of seasoned dancers. Commitment to the arts and community outreach has been an integral part of PFB since its inception. The Plié’ Project, providing exposure to dance through the Boys and Girls Club, is one example. Inspired by Misty Copeland, an American Ballet Theatre principal dancer whose eyes were opened to the majesty of dance through her own local Boys and Girls Club when she was 13, the project has brought the joy of dance to many other young people like herself.
“Support for the Kids,” founded by Linda Miller, is another community program that helps children by donating food, clothing, shoes, school supplies and personal items. PFB donates some 100 tickets annually to provide kids a chance to experience the arts. Its longstanding partnership with the Alliance for the Arts assists children from underserved schools by providing outreach performances at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. PFB also shares the beauty of dance with Casa Pacifica and Senior Concerns, among other community outreach programs.
PFB has been the resident ballet company of the Civic Art’s Plaza since 2000. The founders, Joyce Hurley, Kim Maselli and Lori Sorensen, had a vision of bringing a regional ballet company to the Conejo Valley in 1992.
“Dance, ballet in particular, has always been a vital part of my life,” says Maselli. “I feel the importance of passing on what has been poured into me.”
The company’s training school, California Dance Theatre in Agoura Hills, celebrates 30 years of training dancers from Mommy and Me to High School as well as dancers on their way to professional dance careers. The adult program is also flourishing with daily classes in ballet, tap and jazz. The school and the company pride themselves on cultivating the next generation of artists and ballet enthusiasts.
Becoming a donor to Pacific Festival Ballet allows individuals and businesses the opportunity to support ballet as a performing art and expand its many channels of community outreach. For information about becoming a donor, please visit PacFestBallet.org.
Performances for the 2015 Nutcracker are December 19 and 20. Show times are 2 and 7 p.m. Purchase tickets at the Civic Art’s Plaza Box Office, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, online at TicketMaster.com or call 800.745.3000.