Press Release: Nutcracker 2018

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RELEASE

For Immediate Release, November 12, 2018

Locally born and raised Broadway star returns home for final dance performance in Southern California Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

San Diego, CA — Southern California Ballet’s 27th annual production of The Nutcracker will feature returning alumnus and Broadway star, Victor Wisehart, in the role of Snow Cavalier for his final classical dance performance. Victor, who trained with Southern California Ballet and performed as a child in its productions, has had a very successful career performing in musical theater productions on Broadway and touring around the country. This year, he hung up his dancing shoes to train in dramatic arts at the Prestigious RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) in London, UK.

Taking place on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1:00 p.m. at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, the production also features world-class guest artists David Ward and Mary Beth Hansohn in the roles of Sugarplum Cavalier and Sugarplum Fairy, respectively. These guest appearances serve as a marvelous addition to the production by former award-winning principal dancers, Martha Leebolt and Toby Batley.

Throughout the production’s twenty-seven years, former artistic director Sylvia Palmer has been dedicated not only to showcasing SCB’s students and youth company in this professional quality production of The Nutcracker, but also to bringing inspiring guest artists from countries across the world to delight San Diego & Poway audiences. This mission is continued by Martha and Toby in their second year running this special organization.

Mary Beth Hansohn - Sugarplum Fairy

Mary Beth Hansohn received her professional training at The Arlington Center for Dance in Arlington, VA.  She joined The Ohio Ballet as a full member at age 18, and went on to dance in works by Heinz Poll, Donald Byrd, Laura Dean, Ann Marie DeAngelo, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Stephen Mills, Septime Webre, Salvatore Aiello, Dermot Burke, Christopher Fleming, and Jeffrey Hughes. Mary Beth has performed with Twyla Tharp Dance, The Metropolitan Opera, Dayton Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, The Cleveland Opera, D.C. Contemporary Dance Festival, Neglia Ballet Artists, Dances Patrelle, and Terra Firma Dance Theatre. 

Mary Beth performed in The 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York City, which was televised on CBS. She has also worked with Edouard Lock at La La La Human Steps in Montreal, and with Karole Armitage at Armitage Gone! Dance in New York City. Some of Mary Beth’s favorite roles performed include the title role in Giselle, “Mina Harker” in Dracula, “Gertrude” in Hamlet,  “Russian Girl” in Serenade, the pas de trois from George Balanchine’s Agon, and Unnatural Selection, a pas de deux choreographed and danced with her husband, James Graber. 

David Ward - Sugarplum Cavalier

Former leading dancer with BalletMet where he spent seven years, David trained at the English National Ballet School and spent five years dancing with Northern Ballet in Leeds, England. For a second year, David will join many companies performing lead roles across the USA as a freelance artist. Mr. Ward’s career highlights include touring across mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Thailand, as well as dancing for Prince Edward. He also danced in the International Ballet Stars Gala and was a guest performer in Las Vegas. In the summer of 2019, David and his wife Emily as Co-Directors will create their first summer intensive course in Bozeman, Montana. David also has been asked to set and stage for world-renowned Choreographer Edwaard Liang, and looks forward to this wonderful opportunity later this season.

Mr. Ward’s favorite performances include the title roles of Hamlet, Peter Pan, and Dracula. The most memorable performances include dancing the role of “Romeo” in Romeo and Juliet, “the Cavalier” in The Nutcracker and “the Prince” in Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake.

Victor Wiseheart - Snow Cavalier

Victor Wisehart is an American actor who has been an active member of the Broadway Community for over 10 years, having had the honor of being directed by: Bartlett Sher, Mary Zimmerman, Susan Stroman, Christopher Wheeldon, Christopher Gattelli, Denis Jones, Warren Carlyle, Marc Bruni, Josh Rhodes, Gordon Greenberg, and Mitzi Hamilton. Beginning his career touring with The 50th Anniversary World Tour of West Side Story, he made his musical theater debut in the role of “Diesel” at the Theatre du Chatelét in Paris. He continued to tour with WSS to Vienna, Athens, Düsseldorf, and Zurich, and on to his West End debut at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. He made his New York stage debut in City Center Encore’s production of Pipe Dream. He appeared in Lincoln Center Theater’s production of South Pacific at The Kennedy Center, and for its first national tour Victor returned to the Theatre du Chatelét with the world premiere of An American In Paris, continuing with the production to his Broadway Debut originating the role of “Mr. Z” in An American In Paris on Broadway. He then went on to originate the role of “Hollywood Director” in Roundabout Theater Company’s Holiday Inn on Broadway, which was recorded for the cinema by Broadway HD and played in movie theaters across the United States and PBS’s Great Performances. His voice can be heard on the cast recording of City Center Encore’s Pipe Dream and The Original Broadway Cast Recordings of An American In Paris, and Roundabout Theater Co’s Holiday Inn. Victor can be seen in Holiday Inn streaming on Broadway HD. Always believing in the continuation of personal, professional, and artistic growth, Victor is currently in London, studying drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as a member of the MA Theatre LAB ’19.

In addition to bringing in international talent, Southern California Ballet is proud to train dancers with the skill and talent required to perform principal roles in its professional-level performances. Kayla Kressin, Sanae Kanenobu, and Kanaha Takeda, who will all dance the role of Snow Queen, are high school seniors who train with Southern California Ballet in its professional training program which gives students the real-world experience of being in a professional ballet company for 15 hrs per week. They will be dancing the snow pas de deux with returning alumnus Victor Wiseheart.

Soloist roles such as Spanish Chocolate, Turkish Delight, and Chinese Tea, as well as the stunning snow scene and flower waltz, feature youth company dancers: Samuel Fiorino, Rancho Bernardo High School; Madeline Franz, Bernardo Heights Middle School; Lily Hofstetter, Mesa Verde Middle School; Sanae Kanenobu, Poway High School; Kayla Kressin, Poway High School; Erika McCann, Westview High School; Kelsy Paraoan, Del Norte High School; Kanaha Takeda, Rancho Bernardo High School; and Leah Zabezhinsky, Rancho Bernardo High School.

Southern California Ballet

Southern California Ballet is the premier dance training institute serving San Diego’s Poway and North County areas, and is the only dance academy in the broader region to offer Cecchetti method training and examinations. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, we are here to share our passion.

Our students go on to join some of the top dance organizations in the country and indeed the world. More importantly, they graduate to be confident, creative, and successful young adults who have the tools to do well in whichever career path they choose.

Our mission is to provide enrichment, education, outreach, and public entertainment for the community through the art of dance, and to provide performance and artistic opportunities for dedicated young dancers.

Save the date! Public performances of The Nutcracker will take place Saturday, Dec. 15 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1:00 p.m. at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets will be sold both through the SCB website, www.southerncaliforniaballet.org/nutcracker, and at the PCPA Box Office. Tickets are priced at $23, $38, or $46. Student, senior, group, and military discounts are available.

Poway Center for the Performing Arts is located at 15498 Espola Road, Poway, CA, 92064.

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Notes to Editor:

Southern California Ballet is proud of its commitment to furthering artistic education in the area and for that reason dedicates four performances at $5 a ticket to outreach for school children, groups with special needs, and seniors on Thursday, December 13th and Friday, December 14th at 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m both days. This year, over 2,500 people will see “The Nutcracker” through our outreach and education program.

SCB also supports P.L.A.Y., Poway Leisure Assistance for Youth, Girls Scouts of America, and senior assisted living centers through reduced ticket prices striving to make ballet accessible and affordable for all to enjoy.