Mayor Stahlbaum’s annual Christmas Eve Ball in Act I, in Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker. All photos copyright Moscow Ballet

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker Set at RVCC Theatre

The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College will usher in the holidays with Moscow Ballet’s exquisite staging of The Great Russian Nutcracker,Friday, December 11, with performances at 4 and 8 p.m. The production is part of the Theatre’s Major Artists series.

Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker is a Christmas tradition for the entire family. This popular production features a company of 40 world-class Russian artists who bring the charming Nutcracker Christmas story to life. Moscow Ballet’s principal dancers and production values—including a 10-foot-tall “magical” clock and backdrops with 3D effects—keep raising

Moscow Ballet principal dancer Ekaterina Bortiakova Photo Courtesy Moscow Ballet

Moscow Ballet principal dancer Ekaterina Bortiakova Photo Courtesy Moscow Ballet

the ante for a performance experience that engages audiences of all ages. The production features flawless performances from award-winning principal dancers Ekaterina Bortiakova and Akzhol Mussakhanov.

This year’s staging of The Great Russian Nutcracker features new set designs by Art Directors' Guild multi-award-winner, Carl Sprague, and new costumes by celebrity costume designer Arthur Oliver. Sprague, whose imaginative design work can be seen in such films as The Age of Innocence, Amistad and Grand Budapest Hotel, has created an Act I Party Scene that includes a Grand Salon with wall panels of iconic Russian scenes foreshadowing the story to come. In Act II, the new “Waltz of the Flowers” design creates a deep perspective reminiscent of the gardens of Russia’s Grand Palace of Peterhof.

Costume designer Arthur Oliver recently returned from St Petersburg, Russia where he supervised his newest creations being hand sewn by experienced Russian artisans. The production features new party

Artists work on Carl Sprague’s Act I Party Scene backdrop from Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker. Photo Courtesy Moscow Ballet

Artists work on Carl Sprague’s Act I Party Scene backdrop from Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker. Photo Courtesy Moscow Ballet

attire for Mayor Stahlbaum’s annual Christmas Eve Ball in Act I. Oliver, who has worked with a number of celebrities including Raquel Welch, Alicia Silverstone and Keanu Reeves, uses rich fabrics adorned with intricate detailing to convey the Nutcracker characters’ statuses.

In addition, 2015 marks the 15th year that RVCCArts has invited the students of Gotta Dance to perform along with the professional dancers of the world-renowned company. Caroline Hidalgo and Gillian Peterson coordinate the auditions and rehearsals for the 95 young dancers from Gotta Dance, which has studios in Martinsville, Warren, Basking Ridge and Branchburg.

Adding to the festivities, The Theatre at RVCC will host a very special Nutcracker Tea Party between performances of The Great Russian Nutcracker. This exciting holiday event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in RVCC’s Atrium, which will be decorated to celebrate the season. Families will be treated to an assortment of confectionary treats, seasonal teas and homemade hot cocoa. For an unforgettable holiday memory, children will go home with a unique keepsake: a photograph of themselves with a beautiful ballerina. Tickets for the Tea Party cost $30 for adults, $25 for children. You do not need to attend a Nutcracker performance to attend the Tea Party. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org.

Both performances of The Great Russian Nutcracker feature reserved seating. Tickets cost $40 and $50. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org. Subscribers’ packages are available for all Theatre series. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for most performances.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium.

RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu

Featured Image: Mayor Stahlbaum’s annual Christmas Eve Ball in Act I, in Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker.
Photo copyright Moscow Ballet

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Mission Statement:
Raritan Valley Community College is an educational community that works to develop critical thinking, foster intellectual curiosity, promote leadership, encourage social responsibility, support personal growth, and sustain engaged citizenship within a diverse population of students and community members.
Diversity Statement:
Raritan Valley Community College values all aspects of diversity including but not limited to race, sexual orientation, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, socioeconomic status, and political and philosophical perspectives. We rely on diversity to enrich the intellectual environment for students and employees. We support educational access and opportunity by recruiting and retaining a diverse college community. We foster diversity by developing and maintaining curricular and social programs that infuse the contributions of all people, and by preparing students to excel in a global society. Our commitment to diversity is reflected in the College’s Mission Statement and Strategic Goals, all of which support excellence in teaching, learning and professional development in a welcoming and respectful climate.
Core Values:
• RVCC is an open admission institution with high standards and excellent support services.
• RVCC serves as an important center for our community.
• RVCC participates as a reliable partner with the region’s K-12 schools to support active learning and college readiness.
• RVCC must provide support for student success, but students are responsible for their own achievements.
• The College values the diversity of our communities as a resource that strengthens the institution.
• The College is accountable for the prudent use of all its resources and seeks transparency in all its operations.
• The College measures its success against national models and standards.
• The College commits to environmentally sustainable practices.
• Educational programs must be affordable.
• A healthy college community depends on integrity and respect.
• The best college decisions are made on a learning-centered foundation.
• Learning is a lifelong endeavor.

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