Dancer Michael Dunsmore leaps in front of a seated Bruce Steivel, artistic director for Bay Pointe Ballet, during rehearsal for the company’s upcoming performance of The Nutcracker.
The holidays are here but, for many, the tradition is not complete without seeing a performance of the classical ballet, The Nutcracker.
Bruce Steivel, artistic director of Bay Pointe Ballet and his dancers will be performing his choreographed performance of The Nutcracker at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center on Dec. 14, 15, 21 and 22
“I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown and our premiere performance is just around the corner,” said Steivel. “It has been a fast and furious five weeks of rehearsals and I have enjoyed every minute of it.”
The Nutcracker, as it is known now, is a light-hearted fairy tale about a young girl and her family on Christmas Eve whimsically brought to life by ballet dancers with music composed by Tchaikovsky.
Anisa Abdulkariem, fourth-grader at Portola Elementary School in San Bruno, said The Nutcracker is one of her favorite ballets.
“I dance The Nutcracker for my dance company and my mom has made it a family tradition to watch it every year,” she said.
Historically, it took the work of many great artists for The Nutcracker to be the exquisite phenomenon it is today.
Originally published in 1816 by German author E.T.A. Hoffman, the story of “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” was a darker version meant for adults until French writer, Alexandra Dumas Pere rewrote the story into a happy, magical version to appeal to children.
In 1891, the legendary Marius Petipa, a Russian choreographer from Moscow’s Imperial Theater, commissioned Tchaikovsky to compose the accompanying orchestra which debuted a week before Christmas, 1892, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The San Francisco Ballet performed of The Nutcracker for the first time in America in 1944, followed by the New York City Ballet in 1954.
Today, Steivel is thrilled to be able to carry on that tradition “the dancers of Bay Pointe Ballet look fantastic and I am proud to be their director.”
Bay Point Ballet performances will be held at The San Mateo Performing Arts, 600 N. Delaware St., San Mateo on Dec. 14, 15 and 21, 22. For tickets and more information visit www.baypointeballet.org or call (650) 344-8100.