Moscow Ballet’s celebrated Great Russian Nutcracker is returning to Southeast Missouri State University’s Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on Thursday, Dec. 8, for one show at 7:30 p.m.
This year’s production will include a cameo appearance by Southeast President Carlos Vargas. The on-stage appearance will continue a long tradition in the Moscow Ballet of featuring prominent members of the communities in which the ballet performs.
“His near-starring role takes place in the Party Scene, Act 1, when the guests from around Russia arrive: ‘The Diplomat,’ ‘The General,’ ‘The Inspector,’ and ‘The Professor,’ who will be portrayed by Vargas. Accompanied by two beautiful Russian ballerinas, one on each side, the President will parade around with dignity,” said Robert Cerchio, assistant director of the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts.
Cerchio said the tradition was started by Yale President and later Baseball Commissioner, the late Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, who once “performed” the role of Herr Drosselmeir, the toy maker in the Connecticut Ballet’s Nutcracker.
The classic Great Russian Nutcracker will entertain the whole family this Christmas. Adults and children alike will be captivated by the exceptional dancing of a company of almost 40, spectacular costumes by resident designer Arthur Oliver, and stunning sets designed by multi-Academy Award nominee Carl Sprague and hand-painted in Russia.
The Moscow Ballet is in its 24th consecutive year touring North America. The company features award-winning and rising star dancers, and performs more than 100 engagements annually across Canada and in most of the United States’ largest cities. In addition to public performances, Moscow Ballet dedicates resources to community engagement programs. The “Dance with Us” program shares the Russian Vaganova ballet training with more than 5,000 American dance students annually, bringing them on stage in ancillary roles to perform side-by-side with the professionals. Moscow Ballet’s partnerships with corporations and not-for-profit organizations have helped several charities.
Moscow Ballet is known for its dedication to world peace, and has named Act II of this year’s Nutcracker performance “Land of Peace and Harmony,” featuring a cannon that shoots roses and a two-person “Dove of Peace.”
Tickets to the performance are now on sale and may be obtained by contacting the River Campus Box Office at (573) 651-2265, by visiting the Box Office during office hours, or by visiting RiverCampus.org/great-russian-nutcracker.