Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Jewels Solheim-Roe
Westside Ballet 

Westside Ballet of Santa Monica presents two upcoming Nutcracker experiences

A special day of celebration is planned to enhance the 'Winter Wonderland' experience, on Saturday December 5th,

 

December 2, 2020

Westside's Nutcracker "Winter Wonderland" Market will be constructed outside the Westside Ballet Studios at 1709 Stewart St. in Santa Monica over two weekends, Saturdays & Sundays: November 28-29 *and* December 5-6 –– from 11:00 am until 5:00pm.

Keeping physical distancing and mask protocols in place, the Volunteer Guild's boutique committee will offer a delightful assortment of gifts for everyone on your list. Offerings include nutcrackers of all shapes, sizes, and colors, ornaments, puzzles, and more! Items will also be available for purchase online.

A special day of celebration is planned to enhance the 'Winter Wonderland' experience, on Saturday December 5th, when a small number of dancers will appear in Nutcracker character costumes for socially-distant photo ops for fans of the ballet company.

Benefiting Westside Ballet's Crisis Relief Fund, the pre-professional ballet company plans to release on Giving Tuesday, archival Nutcracker footage from past productions and previously recorded dress rehearsals of selected solo roles performed by six graduating seniors, filmed in an open aired 'Black Box' whist the dancers were wearing masks and observing all social distancing safety protocols.

Westside's Nutcracker "Winter Wonderland" Market will be constructed outside the Westside Ballet Studios at 1709 Stewart St. in Santa Monica over two weekends, Saturdays & Sundays: November 28-29 *and* December 5-6 –– from 11:00 am until 5:00pm.

Event is scheduled for Tuesday, December 1st - one video released per hour 10am - 7pm. Please watch on Westside Ballet's Vimeo Public Showcase at https://vimeo.com/showcase/6997255 –– and IGTV @westsideballet_

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"Kingdom of the Sweets," Westside Ballet's abbreviated 2020 Nutcracker, will be showcased on Vimeo after being pre-recorded in December at the Broad Stage to an empty theater.* Several beloved characters: the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, the Dew Drop Fairy, the vibrant Arabian and Spanish dances, and the beautiful Mirlitons, will be brought together, yet while staying apart. *Because of the current surge in Covid cases and the new mandated state-wide health and safety precautions to slow the curve, Westside Ballet's production team have met with local authorities and have agreed to move the filming at the empty Broad Stage theater to mid December. The exact date of the filming and the release on Vimeo is to be determined.

Volunteer Guild President Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein states, "We hope that our loyal audiences who have attended our sold-out performances year after year at the world class Broad Stage will tune in to Vimeo on Giving Tuesday to enjoy clips of archival footage and some solo rehearsals previously filmed in an open-aired setting. Then, God willing – if we can get this current surge controlled – we hope that by mid-December, the Broad performances for this marvelous rendition of our Nutcracker tradition can go forward as planned. I can honestly state that for our close-knit ballet community, the magic of Westside's Nutcracker tradition has helped keep spirits and hopes alive during this unprecedented local, national, and worldwide health crisis."

Crisis Relief Fund

Launched in March during the first shutdown, this immense fundraising serves to keep the school and studios from closing permanently, whilst operating on a skeleton staff. Currently, there are limited online offerings and outside classes running at 25% occupancy. Donations will enable Westside to harness the latest technology enabling them to provide even more virtual instruction to adults and children. All donations to the fund will go directly to sustaining Westside Ballet's extraordinary team of dancers, artistic and support staff. The fund has raised an astounding $170,000 – recently surpassing their original goal of $150,000. The 'Ask' to the community has since been raised to $250,000 – as the original amount was set to cover losses during the first three months of shutdown and the subsequent expectant few months of limited studio classes. As the pandemic is spiking and Westside Ballet is now in their eight month of limited access to studios, utilizing an outdoor dance space and online Zoom classes, the Board of Directors voted to increase the Crisis Relief amount requested, to further ensure the school, in it's 53rd year, will be poised to weather the uncertainty of the pandemic and offer the legendary instruction Westside Ballet has become known for for years to come.

All proceeds from these fundraising efforts will go towards the Westside Ballet Crisis Relief Fund. Westside is looking to engage 1500 Angels to Save Westside School of Ballet.

https://westsideballet.com/save-our-school

 

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