Westsiders can witness a special hometown presence in the Marat Daukayev Ballet Theatre’s production of “Nutcracker” this holiday season: Brentwood resident and Crossroads Middle School student Anna Yeh will be starring as multiple roles in the performances.
At 13 years of age, eighth-grader Yeh has already channeled her skill and ability as a ballerina as she performs on a consistent basis, competes around the world, and earns plenty of accolades and awards along the way.
Since Yeh has been dancing since she was three years old, she has had her fair share of experience with the essence of the Nutcracker.
Although this year is her first time performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Yeh has pirouetted and plied (accent) in Nutcracker productions for the past seven years with the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet (MDSB) in various starring roles, including lead role Masha in 2011 and 2012.
Yeh has shown her dedication and persistance with the art of ballet, as she has trained with MDSB since she was five years old and subsequently took on numerous roles every year in MDSB performances.
Yeh explained what has kept her returning to the studio and the stage after all these years.
“I really enjoy being on stage,” Yeh said. “It’s a way to express my feelings. I also really like being with and performing with all of my friends.”
The teenage ballerina has grown accustomed to the spotlight, despite the fact that the performing arts can often be stressful and high-strung. This is partially due to the fact that Yeh has been partaking in international dance competitions in both America and Japan since 2011.
“Once I started competing, I overcame stage fright,” Yeh said.
Among other awards this year, Yeh made the top 12 in Pas de Deux at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) and earned the bronze medal at the World Ballet Competition. She also took third place at the International Ballet Concours in Tokyo as well as fifth place at the Japan Grand Prix in 2013.
A number of renowned institutes have recognized Yeh for her skill, including the Pittsburgh Ballet and the Accademia Internazionale Coreutica in Italy. Yeh has also been invited to the Youth Ballet Gala Japan and the Vaganova Ballet Academy’s short-term study program in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In light of all of these accomplishments, Yeh is proud to be trained at MDSB wherever she dances.
“I really love dancing and I thank my teachers for the amazing training and support they’ve given to me,” Yeh said.
Yeh hopes to pursue a professional career in the future.
In this season’s Nutcracker series with the Marat Daukayev Ballet Theatre, the Dec. 7 show was the performance that featured Yeh as the Sugar Plum Fairy, but Yeh will spotlighted in the other six performances as other smaller roles and with the corps de ballet (body of the ballet).
Performances continue at the Luckman Theatre at Cal State, Los Angeles through Dec. 14.
For more information, visit maratdaukayev.com.