Community: Company hosts 'Nutcracker' fest

A daylong festival of all things Nutcracker is planned by the Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre on Dec. 1 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

There will be live music, singing and ornament-making classes for children in the courtyard beginning at noon. Youngsters can meet and pose for pictures with the characters from “The Nutcracker” and take a short ballet class with them at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

Then, a professional ballet themed for the holidays and featuring the Burbank-based company's seasoned dancers will begin at 7 p.m. The first act is called “Les Patineurs” or “The Skaters” will feature music composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer, said Natasha Middleton, the company's artistic director.

The second act will feature highlights from Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker.” Dancing the role of Clara will be Alexandria “Lexi” Wong, 16, who started with the ballet company when she was 4 years old, Middleton said.

“She's really excited because she is finally able to do a role she's wanted to do all her life. She is really becoming quite an amazing dancer,” she added.

Lexi started out playing a toy doll in the company's early “Nutcracker” performances and came up through the ranks.

Jackson Bradshaw, 17, will dance the role of the Nutcracker Prince.

“They have become quite a team,” Middleton said. “They work day and night rehearsing. They are doing a lot more partner dances in this show because they are both so capable.”

The festival is sponsored in part by the Glendale Downtown Merchants Assn. Other organizations collaborating on the festival with the ballet company are the Arthritis Foundation, Glendale Healthy Kids, YWCA of Glendale and Autism Speaks.

Tickets are available by calling (818) 243-2539 or by visiting


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at

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