The Emelin Theatre resumes a holiday tradition – NUTCRACKER DREAM – in partnership with Westchester’s premier professional dance company Ballet des Amériques.
The Emelin Theatre is proud to present Nutcracker Dream, performed by Ballet des Amériques, Westchester’s premier professional dance company. Inspired by the work of Rudolf Nureyev and Marius Petipa, this 90-minute family-friendly adaptation is an exquisite interpretation of the beloved holiday classic.
French-American choreographer Carole Alexis reimagines the traditional story by drawing on her own multicultural heritage to create an energetic production with dancers that engage, surprise and delight, bringing a fascinating cultural diversity to the stage. “Carole’s adaptation speaks to all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds,” says Emelin’s Board President, Mark Ettenger, “and ticket prices are set at levels that are accessible, affordable and inclusive, all central to the Emelin’s mission.”
“My interest in creating Nutcracker Dream is to bring families and friends together around the essence of what the story represents,” explains Choreographer Carole Alexis, “namely, the beautiful balance between Marie’s childhood playfulness and her coming of age amid her own circle of family and friends.”
This exclusive engagement at the Emelin includes 10 matinee and evening performances in December. All seats are reserved, with most priced at $35 for Adults, $25 for Children and a limited number of premium seats at $50, plus applicable fees.
Opening Night is Saturday, December 16 at 7 pm, and a limited number of VIP | Waltz of the Flowers packages are being offered, including an exclusive post-show themed reception with an opportunity for photos with dancers and goodie bags with a Nutcracker Dream T-shirt, an ornament and other special gifts. On Sunday, December 17 at 2 pm, there will be a special children’s performance called Land of Sweets|Sugar Plum Fairy And Cavalier Reception for all, including special treats and an opportunity to meet the dancers after the performance. Subsequent performances are scheduled twice daily over the holiday break from Tuesday, December 26 through Friday, December 29 at 2 and 5 pm.
A TREASURED PARTNERSHIP AND TRADITION | Ballet des Amériques has been staging productions at the Emelin Theatre since 2012. Nutcracker Dream premiered at the Emelin in 2018, and was staged again in 2019, to sold-out audiences. After a pandemic hiatus, Choreographer Carole Alexis sees an emotional importance of returning to the Emelin, “We all seek comfort of the familiar and the solidity of tradition in times of stress, uncertainty and division. Nutcracker Dream brings us together as families, neighbors and friends through the unifying force of the theater.”
Emelin Board President Ettenger adds, “Given the popularity of this event, we’ve increased the number of shows this season to give everyone the chance to enjoy this truly inspirational production.”
CALL FOR AUDITIONS | Professional dancers from Ballet des Amériques perform the featured roles of the ballet, while additional roles are performed by young dancers from across our area. Boys and girls, aged 10-17, from all neighborhoods, with 3+ years of ballet or modern dance training, are invited to audition for children’s roles, giving them the wonderful experience and opportunity to be part of a professional production, share the stage with a professional dance company and enhance their resumes. Auditions will be held Saturday, October 21 @ 8:30am – 1:30pm and Sunday, October 22 @ 11:30am – 3:30pm at the Emelin Theatre, 153 Library Lane in Mamaroneck. For information and registration, please write to: email@example.com or call 914-229-3417.
ABOUT CAROLE ALEXIS | Carole Alexis is a choreographer, producer, dance educator and pedagogue and the founder and director of the Carole Alexis Ballet Theatre/Ballet des Amériques, who has won numerous awards and proclamations for her contributions to the arts and the advancement of culture. Most recently, in 2021, Carole Alexis was named Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, and in 2023, she was honored with the Artist Award by ArtsWestchester. A student of Maurice Béjart, Alexis’ choreographic work is rooted in classical ballet training and tradition while drawing upon influences as disparate as children’s games, island rituals, natural phenomena, and modern urban life.
ABOUT BALLET DES AMÉRIQUES | Under the directorship of Carole Alexis, Ballet des Amériques has been staging productions at the Emelin Theatre since 2012. The company’s extensive and eclectic repertoire bears Carole Alexis’ distinctive signature and vision, reinvigorating “ballet” for new audiences and dance connoisseurs alike. Proclaimed “Westchester’s Premier Dance Company” by the County Executive and voted “Best Ballet Company” by the editors of Westchester Magazine, Ballet des Amériques has danced in nearly 200 productions throughout Westchester, the greater New York City area and overseas and is committed to developing inclusive dance audiences through choreography and performances of the highest quality.
ABOUT THE EMELIN | Founded in 1972, the Emelin Theatre is a non-profit organization that brings world class performing arts to Westchester County. Promoting a cultural life that entertains and educates our audience, the Emelin presents numerous world class events including all genres of music, comedy, dance, and family theatre, plus a broad range of independent and contemporary film. Well-known for our high-quality and affordable programs, the Emelin is one of the few performing arts venues in our region offering such a broad mix of entertainment appealing to all ages and tastes, attracting audiences from Westchester County and beyond. Voted Best of Westchester Professional Theatre 2020. Best of Westchester Children’s Theatre 2023. (Westchester Magazine)
About Ballet des Amériques School & Company, Inc.
Under the direction of Carole Alexis, Ballet des Amériques School & Company combines ballet training, dance education and performance. Students of the School receive intensive training in classical ballet, in modern and in contemporary dance as well as a well-rounded dance education (with classes in music, dance history, anatomy) in a comprehensive and integrated curriculum-based pre-professional program. The professional dancers of the Company of Ballet des Amériques perform original choreographies throughout the greater New York City area and increasingly throughout the world.
Carole Alexis’ work as a choreographer is deeply informed by her multicultural and intercontinental background and training on the one hand, and her interdisciplinary approach to performance on the other. In New York City, for example, she has choreographed and performed – both as a singer and a dancer – at the River to River Festival, the Festival de la Francophonie, at Carnegie Hall and at Lincoln Center with artists such as Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Kathy Engel, Michael Ratner, The Mighty Sparrow, Susan Sarandon. Taking her cue from a thought of Aimé Césaire, in 2011, Carole Alexis launched Ballet des Amériques, a new venture in dance training, education and performance intended to give a voice to the world’s various traditions of dance on the basis of classical ballet training, while self-consciously situating itself in the context of the Americas. The young company has already performed her most recent choreographies at the Festival de Fort-de-France in Martinique, the Journée internationale de la Francophonie at Florence Gould Hall, the Kate Wildish NYC Festival of Dance Schools and at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck. Aesthetically and technically, the tradition of classical ballet broadly conceived to include its modern and contemporary successors offers Carole Alexis the broad range of language and richness of vocabulary that is well-suited as a basis for a choreography that is genuinely open to the world and all of its traditions: “I always find myself traveling between cultures, genres and techniques, engaged in a constant dialogue,” she explains. And indeed, the elements of her choreography as well as the multi-ethnic and multicultural composition of her Ballet des Amériques dance company give credence to this approach. Having grown up and received her training and education in France, the Caribbean and Africa, Carole Alexis at a young age chose the Béjart school to obtain the kind of formation that would form a solid basis from which to receive, appropriate and develop a rich variety of traditions and influences in music, dance and the performing arts in general. From a classical basis and drawing on multifarious influences, Carole Alexis creates works that spark our curiosity, that question and explore, yet that always give pride of place to the sheer physicality and visceral character of dance. Mme. Alexis’ approach to dance, performance and choreography was informed early on by the teachings of the three founders of the Negritude movement, Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Léon-Gontran Damas. She believes that art expresses the infinite possibilities of humanity, a kind of universal consciousness, and that it should be a platform for cultural action leading to a reflection on the possibilities of social change. As an honors graduate of the Mudra School created by Maurice Béjart, Léopold Sédard Senghor and UNESCO, Carole Alexis excelled in all varieties of dance. She has toured in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, dancing as a soloist, ensemble member and freelancer in many companies and productions including: Rick Odums Dance Company – Artistic Director: Rick Odums; Compagnie Du Corail, Soloist – Directors: Jean-Paul Césaire and Suzi Maniry; Les Ballets Jazz de Paris, Soloist – Artistic Director: Mervyn Francis; Moise Dance Company, Soloist – Artistic Director: Moise; Claire Tallia, Soloist – Artistic Director: Claire Tallia; Compagnie Irene Tassembedo. Carole Alexis studied with: Maurice Béjart, ballet and choreographic intensives; Nikoloz Makhateli, ballet; Bertrand Pie, ballet; Jorge Lefèbre, Director of the Royal Ballet of Wallonie, ballet and choreographic work; Solange Golovine, ballet; Jaqueline Fyneart, barre au sol; Larrio Ekson, modern dance and choreographic intensives; Julien Jouga, music; Goris Théâtre; Doudou NDiaye Rose, percussion; Jacqueline Rayet, Opéra de Paris, ballet; Savitri Nair, Bharata Natyam; Rick Odums, jazz and modern jazz; Peter Goss, Modern Jose Limon based; Jay Allen Augen, ballet; Andrej Glekovski, ballet; Yuriko Kikuchi, Director of the Martha Graham Company; Bruce Taylor, modern dance, modern jazz and choreographic work; Jean-Claude Zadith, ballet, Barre au sol, modern dance and choreographic work; Nina Valery, ballet; Germaine Acogny, African dance and choreographic work; Ray Phillips, modern Graham technique; Jaqueline Scott Lemoine, theater; Jean-Claude Lamorandière, contemporary and Afro-Caribbean dance. During her studies, Carole Alexis won numerous merit scholarships and the First Prize of Minolta Danse pour l’image. Her image has graced several magazine covers and she has been featured in many newspaper articles and magazines including the Encyclopédie de la Femme Antillaise. A documentary entitled Come Dance With Me, directed by Jean-Paul Césaire, portrays the early career of Carole Alexis when she was discovered by Aimé Césaire.