Ballet troupe students to offer performances

More than 20 Fellom Ballet students are giving their time this holiday season to bring the “land of sweets” to life in a “mini” traveling “Nutcracker” Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

As part of Fellom Ballet’s commitment to arts in education, the cast will take their show on the road to Hammond Eastside Elementary Magnet School for two performances on Nov. 30. On Dec. 1, the cast will entertain residents of Live Oak Village and Hammond Nursing Home before a public performance at 2 p.m. at St. Albert the Great Chapel and Catholic Student Center, 409 W. Dakota St., Hammond. Admission for the public performance is one non-perishable “sweet” (cake, pie or cookie mixes) to benefit The Tangi Food Pantry. Guests will be invited to decorate cookies and enjoy hot chocolate following the 40-minute performance.

One of the most performed ballets of all time, “The Nutcracker” is based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s 1816 novella “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” It made its ballet debut in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia with music composed by Peter Tchaikovsky. The story revolves around Clara, a young girl who receives a nutcracker doll as a Christmas gift and then enters a magical world called the “land of sweets.”

Portraying Clara is Elizabeth Zaffuto, who attends Holy Ghost Catholic School. Playing the role of Clara’s brother, Fritz, is Emma Miranda, who attends Albany Upper Elementary School. Brianne Nix, of Hammond High Magnet School, will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The cast also includes: Party Children Abby Harper, of Martha Vinyard Elementary School; Abby Mitchell, of Doyle Elementary School; and Katie Simon, of Southeastern Laboratory School; Ballerina Doll Olivia Lowentritt, of Holy Ghost Catholic School; Harlequin Doll Elise Girdwood, of Ponchatoula Junior High School; Soldier Doll Abigail Bates, of Trafton Academy; Snow Queen Olivia Bates, of St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School; Spanish Dancers Alexandra Crovetto, of Martha Vinyard Elementary School; and Abby Russell, of Harvest Christian Academy; Chinese Dancer Alana Knight, of Martha Vinyard Elementary School; Arabian Soloist Isabel Bolner, of Holy Ghost Catholic School; Arabian Dancers Sidney Harvey and Gabby Thompson, of Loranger High School; Marzipan Soloist Harleigh LiRocchi, of Holden School; Marzipan Dancers Gabi Alford (home-schooled); Anna Barnum, of Springfield Elementary School; Jai-Li Culucci and Fiona Hawkins, of Southeastern Laboratory School; Russian Dancer Darby Murphy, of St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School; Dew Drop Fairy Sarah Nepveux of Ponchatoula High School; Flowers Claire Krousel, of Southeastern Laboratory School; and Madison Hunt and Siri Lopinto, of Champ Cooper Elementary School.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that Fellom Ballet has presented the traveling Nutcracker as a community service project. Choreographers are Desiree Wardsworth and Kelly Maloney Domiano.