A Russian version of a holiday classic

Moscow Ballet to perform 'Great Russian Nutcracker'

Moscow Ballet to perform 'Great Russian Nutcracker'

December 08, 2005|by KRISTIN WILSON

When the impossibly flexible, muscular and talented Moscow Ballet dancers take The Maryland Theatre stage Wednesday, Dec. 14, they will be joined by an army of awe-struck Hagerstown ballet students, ready to put on "Great Russian Nutcracker."

For the past six years students from Ballet and All That Jazz in Hagerstown have been part of the annual production, helping to back up some of Russia's finest ballet dancers.

Girls who have danced with the company in past years say they are inspired by the professional dancers' talent and hard work.


"Dancing with the Moscow Ballet is so special," says Courtney Summers, a South Hagerstown High School student. "Your face is in awe as to how good they are."

"Just to be that close to them is amazing," adds South Hagerstown High School student Brittany Lyle.

Summers and Lyle are two of 60 ballet students who will have roles in the Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker." The local students play parts such as mice, snowflakes and party guests. The older students dance with principal ballerinas in the Kingdom of the Sweets in Chinese, Russian, Arabian and Spanish dances.

"Great Russian Nutcracker" varies slightly from the traditional Nutcracker production in that Clara - renamed Masha - and the Nutcracker Prince travel to the "Land of Peace and Harmony." The change is crafted by principal dancer and chief choreographer Anatoli Emelianov, who also created a new character, a dove, that leads Masha and the prince to a land where there is no war or suffering and all creatures live in harmony.

Emelianov and Irina Surneva will be the lead dancers in the production. Emelianov, 33, has worked with ballet companies across Russia as lead dancer, choreographer and director.

Surneva is an award-winning prima ballerina. In 2003, she received the title Honored Artist of Russia, one of the highest titles a dancer can receive.

If you go ...

WHAT: Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker"

WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown

COST: Tickets cost $29 to $47.

MORE: For more information or to order tickets, go to or call 301-790-2000.

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