Westside Ballet’s presentation of “The Nutcracker” has been a beloved Los Angeles classic since 1973 — the longest-running SoCal production of the famous ballet. The pre-professional company returns to The Broad Stage for the first time in two years, running Nov. 27th through Dec. 5th.
Brentwood resident Violette Marie Rice (12) is in 6th grade at St. Martin of Tours School. She performs in the role of Chinese and as a Victorian Party Girl. Her mother Lisa Marie Goodwin shares, “Violette began dancing from the very beginning. She has been with Westside Ballet since Level 2 and was so happy to get to begin pointe last year. She is honored to be one of the first recipients of the ‘Dance In Color’ scholarship founded by Adrian Blake Mitchell. She has blessed many with her joy and love for dance by performing in the church for special occasions and even a wedding.”
Sisters Shanghai (15) and Eema (14) Kaye have trained at Westside Ballet for ten years. Both sisters will dance as a Snowflake and Flower in the corps de ballet. Shanghai is also performing in the Chinese Center Duet, in the lively Spanish dance, as a French Mirliton, and also as a Victorian Mother. She is in 10th grade at Brentwood School. Eema attends Geffen Academy in the 8th grade, and will also be performing the solo role of Center Candy.
During the Nutcracker Season, the Kaye sisters rehearse six days a week. When asked how they stay strong, Shanghai shares, “I am always staying motivated. It’s very important. I am sure to get a good night’s sleep, especially important for the days I am performing. I keep a positive mindset and set goals for myself.”
Eema continues, “Westside provides so many performing opportunities, which has grown my confidence and improve my artistry and dance abilities. It is extremely exciting to be backstage and experience being in a real performance! The most important traits of a dancer to me is perseverance, strength, courage, and determination. Practicing is the only way you will improve and grow as a dancer, it will not only enhance your skills, but also your stamina which is really needed when performing on stage.”
Archer Anderson (11) is in 6th grade in the honors program at Paul Revere Middle School — and shall perform in the role of a Victorian Party Girl. Having danced ballet since she was 3 years old, Archer also plays piano, the flute and is a Cadette in Girl Scouts. During the pandemic she worked with Tree People Los Angeles to help plant trees and to teach other scouts the importance of trees.
Evelyn Lewis (12), a 6th grader at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, also plays a Victorian Party Girl.
The students share the stage with professional dancers, such as Principal Guest Artist Chasen Greenwood, who is accompanying the Sugar Plum Fairy (Santa Monica native Daniella Zhou in her professional debut) as her Cavalier.
Covid vaccine and testing guidelines shall be enforced for both dancers and audiences.