ST. CROIX BALLET: The 24th Annual Stillwater Nutcracker

St. Croix Ballet’s annual Nutcracker, directed by Susan Hovey, will be held at Stillwater Area High School on Thanksgiving weekend November 28th, 29th and 30th.

Ms. Hovey, who took over as director of St. Croix Ballet last year after the retirement of founder Karla Sweeney, who stepped down due to a gallant 15-year battle with late stage breast cancer, said that a unique signature of St. Croix Ballet’s beloved seasonal classic is the half dozen young men that have grown up at the studio and now are highly talented dancers.

Ms. Hovey noted that in addition to the advanced male dancers taking 3-4 classes a week, that for the last three years the young men have had weekly ‘partnering’ classes with the advanced female dancers at the St. Croix Ballet studio. “This ongoing, solid training and the near professional performance results will be on full display this year. They are a delight to watch,” said Hovey. The male dancers include Noah Roesler, 19, Joseph Roesler 16, Jeremy Baxter, 16, Will Kratz, 17, Sam Kratz, 15 and Simeon Beaurline 14.

The Nutcracker’s most challenging female role – the Sugar Plum Fairy, will be performed by Stillwater Area High School senior Catherine Wessel and SAHS junior Ava Wichser. Snow Queen and Snow King will be danced by McKenzie Brady and Jeremy Baxter, and, Anneke DeJong and Will Kraatz (both couples split cast); and dancing the roles of Clara and the Prince will be Savanna Beaurline and Sam Kratz, and, Rebecca Franke and Joseph Roesler (both partners split cast).

Nesiyan Tobak, who is from the Ukraine, will once again perform the role of Herr Drosselmeyer, which he has done for the last 17 years. Before coming to the United States (he is now a citizen) Neka trained dancers and performed with his troupe throughout Europe. For many years Neka has taught Ukrainian character dance at St. Croix Ballet.

Performances are on Thanksgiving weekend:

Friday, November 28th at 2 pm and 7 pm

Saturday, November 29th at 2 pm and 7 pm

Sunday November 30th at 1 pm and 6 pm

SCB’s new professional ticket line allows immediate purchase and choice of seats. Tickets may be ordered on-line at http://www.stcroixballet.com/tickets.aspx or call 651-439-2820, press 1, and leave a message.

(Picture): Stillwater Nutcracker Clara’s and Prince’s: Joseph Roesler, Rebecca Franke, Savanna Beaurline, and Sam Kraatz (left to right).