‘Tis the season for all things Nutcracker and Manchester’s own Connecticut Concert Ballet is currently rehearsing for its annual performance of their full-length version of the show.
This year’s production features 263 cast members from 36 towns statewide, ranging from Granby to Old Saybrook and from Stafford Springs through West Hartford. CCB’s Nutcracker remains one of Manchester's largest community events.
Guest Artist Eddy Tovar will be appearing in the title role of Nutcracker. Eddy is originally from Cuba and began his training at the Cuban National Ballet School in Havana, he received other early training in Brazil. In the years 1997 and 1998, Eddy entered seven competitions in Cuba, Argentina and Brazil winning two gold and three silver metals. Eddy moved to the US in 1999 to join the Orlando Ballet, and in 2000 he was the Gold Medalist in the Youth America Grand Prix, Boca Raton, Florida. Eddy then became Principal Dancer of the Orlando Ballet, a position he held until 2009.
That same year, Eddy appeared on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance” dancing in George Balanchine’s “Who Cares?, he also moved to the Texas Ballet Theatre where he became Principal Dancer under the direction of Ben Stevenson, a position he held until recently.
Eddy has performed many Guest Appearances in the US as well as International Gala Performances in Latvia, Canada, Japan and Argentina.
Eddy is now on faculty at the Hartt Community Division and lives in Hartford with his wife and young daughter.
Two of the other large leads in the show, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara, are being performed by Manchester residents. Rebecca DeNies returns as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Maricel Thongmanivong will share the role of Clara, the young girl who gets a magical Nutcracker for Christmas. A total 41 cast members are from Manchester.
Becky is a CCB aluma having grown up dancing many roles over the years including that of Clara. She first performed as the Sugar Plum Fairy while still at the school, the first student qualified to tackle the challenging choreography. Becky also attended summer intensives with the American Ballet Theatre and The Rock School. Since graduating from Manchester High School, Becky has been awarded a merit scholarship to the University of Hartford Hartt School.
She is currently studying both Dance Performance and Pedagogy in its BFA program and recently accepted a faculty position in the Hartt Community Dance Division.
Maricel is an 11-year old seventh grader at the Illing Middle School in its Enrichment program, and has won a Presidential award for academic achievement. What she loves the most about ballet is, “learning the process to become a great dancer.”
Artistic Directors David Lawrence and Wendy Fish-Lawrence’s family-friendly production will be performed over two weeks. Three performances will be held each weekend at Manchester High School, 134 Middle Turnpike East:
- December 8 (2 p.m. and 7 p.m.)
- December 9 (2 p.m.)
- December 15 (2 p.m.)
- December 16 (2 p.m. and 6 p.m.).
Ticket Information: Preferred Front & Center Seats $35; General Admission: Adults $25, Child/Student/Senior $15. Tickets are available by phone 860-418-7294, online www.ctconcertballet.org/Store, at Dance Village, 171 Spencer St, Manchester and Hairdresser on Fire, 176 Broad St, Windsor.
Connecticut Concert Ballet is a semi-professional 501(c)(3) classical ballet school and performing arts organization with studios in Manchester and in Windsor at the Loomis Chaffee School. It has more than 300 students from over 35 towns statewide.