January 27, 2022 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Westside Ballet Dancers’ Nutcracker Dreams Finally Return to the Broad Stage

Westwood, Century City and WLA residents perform after two long years

Sixteen West LA residents and students share the stage with a total of 67 pre-professional dancers in Westside Ballet of Santa Monica’s production of “The Nutcracker,” which returns to The Broad Stage Thanksgiving Weekend.  Two WLA dancers, Eema Kaye and Lilly Olvera, will dance solo roles.

The longest-running SoCal presentation of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, Westside’s production has been a beloved Los Angeles classic since 1973, providing the perfect opportunity to introduce children to classical music and dance, and in so doing, showcasing the value of the performance arts––a point considered more poignant than ever after the collective nearly two-year drought of live entertainment and arts events throughout the pandemic. 

West LA student Lilly Olvera rehearses for her Dew Drop Fairy role at Westside Ballet studios. (Photo: Todd Lechtick)

A junior at New West Charter High School, Lilly Olvera (17) has earned the coveted role of the Dew Drop Fairy. “Being able to come back to the studio has had such a positive impact on me,” said Olvera. “The pandemic greatly affected my life and those around me so being able to return to not only something familiar but also something that has brought me so much happiness over the years is extremely encouraging.”

Eema Kaye (14) has trained at Westside Ballet for ten years. Kaye, an 8th grader at Geffen Academy, will be performing the solo role of Center Candy. She will also dance as a Snowflake and Flower in the corps de ballet of the Snow Scene and Waltz of the Flowers.

Century City resident Naya Farrell-Katseanes (12) is in 6th grade at the New Roads School in Santa Monica, and shall be performing the roles of a side Chinese and Party Boy. The last time she was on the Broad Stage in the 2019 Nutcracker, she played a Polichinelle.  In 2018, she was a Snow Fairy. Farrell-Katseanes explains her regime to prepare for the big moment back to the live stage: “To ensure that I stay strong and healthy for ballet, I eat well balanced meals, get a lot of sleep, stretch and take epsom salt baths. I started dancing because I wanted to learn about the art of ballet and learn about other styles such as jazz. I love dancing at Westside Ballet because it keeps me motivated, happy, creative, challenged and athletic.”

Century City residents Bella Shriver (14) and Teralani Galvan (14) join Kaye in the Peppermint Candy dance in the corps de ballet. Westwood resident Zola Maksimovic (12) performs as a side Chinese, Victorian Party Boy, and Red Soldier. Other WLA area students perform in the Victorian Party Scene, the lively Russian dance, as ethereal Angels gliding on clouds, or in the intricately choreographed Battle Scene as Mice or Soldiers.

Century City resident Naya Farrell-Katseanes performing at the Broad Stage as a Snow Fairy, 2018. (Photo: Todd Lechtick)

The students share the stage with professional dancers, such as Principal Guest Artist Chasen Greenwood, who is accompanying the Sugar Plum Fairy (Santa Monica native Daniella Zhou in her professional debut) as her Cavalier. Greenwood was featured in Dancer Magazine as “one to watch” after completing a nationwide tour as a soloist with State Street Ballet.

On Giving Tuesday, Nov. 30, Westside will release rehearsal footage previews on its social media channels. 

Westside Ballet will be implementing a mandatory vaccination and mask policy. 

More Info & Tix: westsideballet.com/nutcracker

Related Posts

Bonin Drops Out of City Council Race

January 26, 2022

January 26, 2022

Councilmember cites chronic depression in Wednesday announcement By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin has announced that he...

Current Progress of Permanent Veteran Housing on The West LA VA Campus

January 26, 2022

January 26, 2022

VA representatives give a tour of the current progress and future plans for permanent veteran housing on the West LA...

Message from CCUSD Superintendent Following Week of Canceled Classes

January 25, 2022

January 25, 2022

The following is a January 24 message from Culver City Unified School District Superintendent Quoc Tran in relation to schools...

City Breaks Ground on Water Self-Sufficiency Project

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

City Representative Sunny Wang explains what the new improvements to the Arcadia Water Treatment Plant will mean for local residents..Video...

Six Story Mixed-Use Apartment Building Approved in Palms

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Project to replace building that went up in flames on Venice Boulevard By Dolores Quintana After five years (and a...

Westside Home Prices Rising?

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Redfin report shows 11.1 percent increase in median home prices By Dolores Quintana Are Westside home prices rising?  On the...

Baldwin Hills Man Pleads Guilty to Luxury Car Fraud

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Geoffrey Eldridge Hull Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charge for Fraudulently Obtaining Luxury Cars from Victims Who Wanted Out of Their...

Kristin Crowley Nominated as L.A.’S First Female Fire Chief

January 20, 2022

January 20, 2022

Ralph Terrazas announces retirement By Sam Catanzaro Officials this week announced that Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas will retire after nearly...

Culver City Getting New Wine Store

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Total Wine & More coming to Culver City By Dolores Quintana Culver City is getting a new wine shop.  Total...

Arrest Made in Murder of Brianna Kupfer

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Shawn Laval Smith in police custody By Sam Catanzaro Police have arrested a man suspected of the murder of Brianna...

Police ID Suspect Wanted for Murder of Brianna Kupfer

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

UPDATE: Shawn Laval Smith, the suspect responsible for the murder of Brianna Kupfer is in custody, after being located and...

LA City Clerk Fails to Verify Enough Signatures to Allow Bonin Recall to Move Forward

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Final tally 1,350 signatures short of required amount  By Dolores Quintana The group that attempted to recall Los Angeles City...

World’s Largest Wildlife Crossing Set to Break Ground

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Crossing over the 101 Freeway set to break ground this spring By Sam Catanzaro The world’s largest wildlife crossing will...