Hawaii State Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ leaps back into Mamiya Theatre
KAIMUKI—Hawaii State Ballet (HSB), under the direction of John Landovsky, returns this holiday season with its 24th annual production ofThe Nutcracker Ballet performed by their preeminent Junior Company. This perennial Christmas favorite portrays a little girl’s fantasy journey with her Nutcracker Prince through a world of fairies, princes, dancing flowers, and snowflakes.
John Landovsky founded the HSB in 1983. Since its beginnings, the school, located right across from Ala Moana Center at 1418 Kapiolani Blvd., has offered a rigorous curriculum that provides the highest standard of excellence in classical training.
Many local dancers who have pursued a professional career got their start with HSB, and many graduates have gone on to coveted national and international ballet careers. Among these dancers is Amanda Schull who starred in the movie, Center Stage. Amanda was an HSB student for 12 years and performed in many Junior Company productions. She went on to dance with San Francisco Ballet and is currently starring in the movie, Mao’s Last Dancer.
Romi Beppu, a student for 10 years, attained the status of principal dancer with the Boston Ballet, the only dancer from Hawaii to achieve the highest ranking with an international company. She now dances with Utah’s Ballet West. Elizabeth Mertz won the bronze medal for the United States at the 1995 International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland. She danced with the Washington Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and is currently in American Ballet Theatre.
HSB offers a variety of programs for budding ballerinas. Beginning ballet classes offer a simple introduction to the art form, from which students progress through seven levels as their abilities develop and improve. As students advance through the Junior Program, the number of classes per week increases to assure proper conditioning for the more difficult ballet vocabulary. Pointe work begins when the student achieves proper and consistent technique, strength and alignment, and has progressed to the fourth level class.
More advanced Junior Company level classes produce well-trained dancers, technically and artistically, who are able to compare with well-trained dancers internationally. The Junior Company performs regularly throughout the year in order to prepare them for the the world of professional dance.
Junior Company performances range from classical to the contemporary, and include such works as Giselle, Swan Lake, Paquita, Les Sylphides, La Bayadere, and Coppelia, as well as their annual production of The Nutcracker.
Performances will be held at the Mamiya Theatre on the St. Louis-Chaminade campus from December 10 to 12 and 17 to 19 on Fridays at 7:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $24 to $32, with child, military, and senior discounts available. Visit www.hawaiistateballet.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
For more information about HSB, visit their website or call (808) 947-2755.