50 dancers to perform a dazzling ‘Nutcracker’ this weekend

Hackettstown. The lead dancers have performed with some of the most prestigious companies in the country.

| 13 Dec 2021 | 05:32

The holidays just aren’t the same without “The Nutcracker.” The Centenary Stage Company has made a spectacle to delight the whole family with 50 dancers, stunning costumes, and dazzling dancing to Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday music in four performances from Friday through Sunday.

A young girl and her Nutcracker Prince battle the Mouse King and journey through the Land of Sweets with the Sugar Plum Fairy. Original choreography is by Alexandra Thorpe and Ashley Cicala Feyrer, both former New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet students and current NJCYB co-executive and artistic directors.

The lead role of Clara will be danced by two 11-year-olds, Lila D’Oliveira of Oxford, N.J., and Kristina Gallagher of Independence, N.J. Both have trained 12-plus hours per week for several months in preparing for this coveted role.

Alexandra (Lexy) Limeburg, a NJCYB alum, will perform the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Limeburg performed in NJCYB’s The Nutcracker in a variety of roles 2007 to 2015 and in 2019 she danced as the Snow Queen. Most recently she trained at Miami City Ballet School learning many Balanchine ballets.

This year’s Prince will be performed by Ramon Gaitan. He has danced with the Richmond Ballet, Ballet Theater of Maryland, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dayton Ballet, and Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, among others. He has worked with choreographers such as Wayne McGregor, Ron De Jesus, and John Mark Owens at Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival.

Sara Seger, a founding company member of NJCYB, will again dance Arabian with her partner, Sabatino Verlezza. Seger has toured nationally and internationally with Battery Dance, RIOULT Dance NY, and performed at Lincoln Center Institute, The American Dance Guild, Cool NY Dance Festival, and more. Seger was also lead actress in the feature film, “Nothing Serious: The Movie,” directed by John Appleton.

Verlezza has performed multiple works by May O’Donnell and is a certified teacher of the O’Donnell technique. He joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2012, under the direction of Pascal Rioult, and performed nationally and internationally with the company.

The New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing dance as an art form through education and professional performances. Performers ages 5 and up are encouraged to attend auditions. To learn more, visitnjcyb.org.

What: “The Nutcracker” ballet
When: Friday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 18, at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m.
Where: Centenary University, 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown, N.J.
How much: $17.50 to $30.50
Tickets: Available at centenarystageco.org
Information: 908-850-0709