The US International Ballet Company Debuts “The Great International Nutcracker”
The US International Ballet Company Will Perform a Holiday Classic
The US International Ballet Company will debut The Great International Nutcracker this weekend and will be performing at the Odell Williamson Auditorium on December 9th. The performance will consist of 40 local ballet students, 30 professional dancers from over five countries, and 2 international ballet stars who also serve as artistic directors for the dance company. Elizabeth Hester, Executive Director of USIB, has family ties in Brunswick County and hopes that this year’s show will bring a large crowd.
Hester opened Wilmington Ballet Company in 1999, with hopes of creating a culture in the community that sees ballet as something that is fun to watch and that they support. Nearly 20 years later the dance company is known for putting on highly entertaining shows that are quickly sold out. Hester wants to do the same in Brunswick County, “I’m really hoping Brunswick County will come out to see the ballet” stated Hester.
Auditions to be a part of the USIB this year began last year, professional dancers that were selected moved to the area this past summer and have been practicing since. A few dancers were a part of the ballet company last year and obtained a contract for a second year. Each year the dancers must re-audition to remain a part of the company. Once selected, artistic directors will spend time watching each individual dancer. To assign particular roles directors will sometimes have 2-3 dancers learn and rehearse the same part and the dancer may not know if they were selected for the part until a week before the show. Selecting which dancers will play what roles this way makes everyone rise to their very best every day. These professional dancers have been training for many years, very seriously and full time.
Roles are assigned to children differently than they are professional dancers. To assign roles to younger dancers, they are typically put in groups by age, and as they get older the role assignment becomes more skill based. Once broken into groups by age and technical capacity they are told what parts they will perform. In New Hanover County there is a pre-professional dance training program that a number of dancers from Brunswick County attend. Younger dancers belong in 3 scenes, the party scene, the fight scene and mother ginger. The youngest dancer in the performance this year is 4 years old.
Adding to the collection every year, the Great International Nutcracker performance will showcase 300 costumes that have been collected over a decade. Every year the audience is left mesmerized by the beauty of the individually magnificent costumes.
Many people have the perception that ballet is boring, slow and only for people who particularly love the arts. As the first ever professional ballet company outside of Raleigh and Charlotte, The US International Ballet Company is “bringing ballet into the 21st century”. As Executive Director, Elizabeth Hester goes of her way to make sure everyone in the audience is wowed by each performance. “Even the average plumber Joe is entertained by my show” said Hester.
Want to go?
December 9, 2018 – Odell Williamson Auditorium at 3pm
December 15, 2018 at 6pm & December 16, 2018 at 3pm – Wilson Center Wilmington