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11-04-2009 10:39 AM CET | Leisure, Entertainment, Miscellaneous

Press release from: Westside Ballet

/ PR Agency: Squires PR
Doll Scene from Westside Ballet's The Nutcracker

Doll Scene from Westside Ballet's The Nutcracker

A West Los Angeles Family Tradition Celebrates its 37th Year

For 37 years, audiences have thrilled to Westside Ballet's annual lavish full-length production of "The Nutcracker," showcasing the most promising young dancers in Los Angeles. It's the story of Clara, a girl who receives a nutcracker for Christmas and is transported to a magical world of Sugarplum Fairies and villainous mice.

Brought to life by falling snow and a Christmas tree that grows, Westside Ballet's Nutcracker is not only the longest running production in Los Angeles history – it's the closest to George Balanchine's original version in quality, integrity, and musicality.

Special attention to costumes, choreography and characters come from the input of an esteemed faculty at Westside School of Ballet, located in Santa Monica.

Overseeing the production as Artistic Director is Yvonne Mounsey, founder of Westside Ballet and former soloist and principal dancer with New York City Ballet under George Balanchine. There she created roles in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and La Valse, Jerome Robbins’s The Cage, Fanfare, and The Concert, and Frederick Ashton’s Picnic at Tintagel.

Westside Ballet draws its company from the affiliated Westside Ballet School, customarily considered the premier ballet school in Los Angeles. Students have gone on to distinguished careers with the country’s top ballet companies.

Past Nutcracker productions have included Monique Meunier (New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater), Anna Liceica (American Ballet Theater), Martine Harley (Houston Ballet), Melissa Barak (New York City Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, Morphoses, the Wheeldon Company), Andrew Veyette (New York City Ballet), Frances Veyette (Pennsylvania Ballet), Kylee Kitchens (Pacific Northwest Ballet), Sarah Poss (Dutch National Ballet) and many more.

This year’s Nutcracker features Westside Ballet alumna Kate Oderkirk, now with Tulsa Ballet, who will return as the Sugar Plum Fairy for two performances at Pepperdine University. Oderkirk trained with Westside Ballet until she was 16, and performed previously with the San Francisco Ballet.

Westside Ballet’s 2009 Nutcracker will be hosted in two locations. It will first appear at the Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University on November 28 at 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm, and November 29 at 1:30 pm & 5:30 pm. Location: 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA. Call 310-828-6211 for tickets or visit

Performances resume at the Wadsworth Theatre in Brentwood/Los Angeles on December 12 at 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm, and December 13 at 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm. Wadsworth Theater address: 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Brentwood, CA 90073. Call Ticketmaster at 213-365-3500 or purchase through All tickets are $30.


About Westside Ballet Company - Westside Ballet Company, a nonprofit organization, is one of the nation's premier ballet training companies. This pre-professional company was created by Yvonne Mounsey and Rosemary Valaire in 1970.

The company provides the promising young dancers of the Westside School of Ballet the performance opportunities that are so vital to their growth — and makes dance more accessible to local children and families. Based in Santa Monica, California, Westside Ballet Company now comprises approximately 100 dancers, ages 8 to 18.

For more information, visit

Press Contact:

Livia Squires, Publicist
Squires PR
142 N. Clark Dr.
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 273-4340

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