The New York State Ballet presents ‘The Nutcracker’

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The New York State Ballet will present “The Nutcracker” at Roberts Wesleyan College with performances from December 17-19.

Founder and Artistic Director Katherine Johnson and Company member Nova Gaffney discussed the upcoming performances Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.

“This is our eighth year performing our annual ‘Nutcracker’ and it’s really been quite a trial and tribulation,” Johnson said. “Last year we were lucky enough to still perform our ‘Nutcracker’ at OFC Creations in Pittsford with Eric Johnson and Hunter Johnson, but this year we’re really elated just to bring the show back to a live audience and restore our orchestra as well, led by Dr. Jared Chase. As the Artistic Director, I’m really excited to see the sheer delight of all of the dancers from our training academy, which has over 75 children in the production, plus our professional company, the New York State Ballet with our professional dancers.”

Gaffney is thrilled to be back performing before a live audience. “I’m absolutely elated. ‘The Nutcracker’ is one of my favorite things to perform. I really love Christmas. It just brings that joy to me and to the audience as well. To be able to perform it in front of a live audience this year is quite exciting.”

Gaffney will perform as the Dew Drop Fairy. “In Act Two of ‘The Nutcracker’ when Claire travels to ‘The Land of Sweets’ there are a series of divertissements that all perform for her,” she explained. “And right after that, right before the Sugar Plum Fairy makes her grand entrance with the Cavalier there is a dance called ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ and Dew Drop is sort of the queen of all of those flowers and it’s always been something that has really touched my heart. Just hearing the first few bars of the music in ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ has always excited me and this is something that I’ve never gotten to perform with the Company before so I’m extremely grateful to be able to do that.”

Before the performances at Roberts Wesleyan College, the New York State Ballet will offer a special preview this coming Saturday, December 11 at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester.

Johnson said there will be preview performances at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

“You’ll see different selections of our ‘Nutcracker’ from both Act One and Act Two. It’s just a sneak peek of what’s in store the following week at Roberts so if you’ve gotten your tickets to Strong, or even if you don’t, you can go to their website – – and you can get tickets and see a sneak peek of our ‘Nutcracker.'”

For tickets and more information about the performances at Roberts Wesleyan College, visit

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