A “must see” event is the Iowa State Center’s presentation of The Nutcracker Ballet. This annual production is the longest-running Nutcracker in Iowa and showcases sensational talent on stage at Stephens Auditorium on Dec. 9 and 10 for three performances. A cast of more than 200 skilled dancers from more than a dozen central Iowa communities will delight audiences of all ages in this holiday masterpiece. This production features choreography by Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato Thomas of the Dancenter in Ames.
The Nutcracker Ballet tells the story of a young girl, a heroic prince, and the fantastic dream they share. From the opening party scene to the last tinkling notes of Tchaikovsky’s famous score, a festive holiday spirit permeates the whole performance.
Along with exceptional local talent, The Nutcracker Ballet welcomes new professional principal dancers Kathleen Martin in the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Ryan T. Jolicoeur-Nye as her Cavalier.
Tickets are $25 for general admission; $20 for youth 18 and under, seniors 55 and over, ISU students and groups of 10 or more. To purchase, contact the Iowa State Center Ticket Office - North entrance of Stephens Auditorium open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 90 minutes prior to show time for weekend events. They can also be purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
Showtimes are at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 10.
Ms. Martin is originally from Grayslake, Illinois and is now in her sixth year as a professional dancer. She joined Ballet San Antonio in 2015 and was quickly promoted to soloist for the 2016 season. She had an outstanding season last year performing in the annual Nutcracker, where she danced the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen. In Peter Pan, by Peter Anastos, she carried the role of “Tiger Lily,” and later in the season, she dazzled audiences with Tropical Fiesta, a work especially created by Artistic Director Willy Shives for San Antonio.
Prior to coming to San Antonio, Ms. Martin danced with Ballet West’s second company under the director Mark Goldweber and Adam Sklute. While with Ballet West, she originated the principal role of The Little Mermaid.
Ms. Martin starred in the BBC Worldwide production of “Breaking Pointe”, a documentary-drama featuring the lives of modern day ballerinas. Her growing repertoire includes Balanchine’s Serenade and Rubies; Ben Stevenson’s Dracula and Swan Lake; Don Quixote by Anna Marie Holmes; Scheherazade, Alice in Wonderland, August Bournonville’s Tarantella of Napoli and the role of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, among others.
Ms. Martin continues to be a principal guest artist with A.V.A Ballet Theater based in Reno, Nevada and is on faculty for The Jillana School Summer Intensive Program, focusing on Balanchine technique and style. Ms. Martin was the interim ballet mistress for True Dance Academy of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Ryan T. Jolicoeur-Nye
Ryan began his training at the age of 16. After a year of studying under renowned Kirov dancer, Andrei Bossov, he joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Professional Division on full scholarship. During his time with RWB, Ryan had the opportunity to work with many international choreographers, as well as create three of his own ballets. While still a student, he danced several performances with the company, including soloist roles in the Nutcracker. Upon graduating from RWB, Ryan was asked to attend the Banff Summer Arts Festival where he performed the principal role in Fernand Knault’s Carmina Burana. Ryan would go on to dance for Festival Ballet of Providence, Eugene Ballet and Ballet Idaho where he was promoted to principal dancer in 2011. In 2012, Ryan joined Kansas City Ballet where he danced several principal roles, including Jerome Robbin’s Fancy Free, Septime Webre’s Alice in Wonderland, Michael Pink’s Dracula as well as Devon Carney’s Swan Lake, Giselle and Nutcracker. Ryan has performed as a guest artist with Oklahoma City Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boise Dance Co-op and Festival Ballet of Providence. He has performed works by choreographers such as George Balanchine, Vicente Nebrada, Devon Carney, Hans Van Manen, Rudi Van Dantzig, Mark Godden, John Neumeier, Helen Pickett, Yuri Possokhov, Jorden Morris, Ma Cong, Viktor Plotnikov, Robert Mills and many more.
As a choreographer, he has created ballets for Ballet Idaho, Kansas City Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and the Kansas City Dance Festival. He has also had his work performed by dancers from companies all over the world, including Alberta Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and the Finnish National Ballet. Ryan’s work has been presented on stage alongside choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, George Balanchine, Marco Goecke, Ma Cong, Mathew Neenan, Garrett Smith, Davide Bombana and Douglas Lee. In 2017, Ryan was recognized for his Kansas City Ballet School work Concerto 21 and awarded “Outstanding Choreographer” by Youth America Grand Prix. Ryan’s choreography has been featured in KC Studio magazine and was recently performed in Niigata, Japan. In February, his solo, The Painter, was presented at an alumni gala for The Harid Conservatory.