Moscow Ballet’s ‘Great Russian Nutcracker’ brings holiday cheer to Atlantic City at Harrah's Resort while the A.C. Ballet takes its 'The Nutcracker' to area venues.
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY — The world-renowned Moscow Ballet pirouettes into Atlantic City on Thursday, Nov. 29, as it celebrates its 20th anniversary production of the Christmas classic, the Great Russian Nutcracker, at Harrah’s Resort. The ballet runs at Harrah's Nov. 29-Dec. 2.
Over the past 20 years, the Great Russian Nutcracker has introduced some of the world’s most talented dancers to audiences across the globe. Among those accomplished performers is Moscow Ballet audition director and soloist, Svetlana Todinova.
The Russian native, who completed formal ballet training at the prestigious Ufimsky Choreography School in 1997, now named the Rudolph Nureyev Russian State Ballet Academy after the legendary graduate, has been with the Moscow Ballet since 2001, and a soloist since 2006. Actively involved with Moscow Ballet’s Children’s Program, “New Horizons,” Todinova juggles her roles of mother, dancer, teacher and humanitarian with a smile on her face, her delightful demeanor contagious. Always on the go, Todinova took some time out of her busy schedule for a phone interview with Atlantic City Weekly.
Between the months of September and November you travel to over 20 U.S. cities auditioning and training dancers as audition director for the Moscow Ballet. In your various travels have you come to Atlantic City before?
Yes, I’ve been there before. It is a beautiful city, I really like it. I do love water, although I’m not a fan of swimming (laughs). But yes, I love the city because the beach is so very beautiful.
You also do a lot of traveling to work with children.
Yes, I love it. Usually I come around two months before everybody else comes and I teach the kids dancing, some of them eventually dance with us, I audition them, and then I also do rehearsals with them.
In regards to your work with children, you were recently in Las Vegas for the Children’s Miracle Network with Donny and Marie Osmond. What was that like?
It was a nice experience. We had a good time. Donny and Marie are beautiful people. They are so very kind, and it’s very simple to talk with them. It was so easy to talk. We took pictures together, we had dinner — they are such nice people. They were really, really interested in the ballet, and they asked me so many questions about ballet, how I was trained. And of course, they invited me to their show, [which] was just beautiful. They are not very well known in Russia, but I really, really enjoyed their show.
You’ve been a dancer for such a large part of your life, how did you initially become interested in ballet?
I was nine. In Russia you have to be nine to go to enter ballet school, no older [than] nine. I came to the audition with my cousin because he started to dance when he was five; he was dreaming to be a dancer, a very good professional dancer. I came along with him just for fun. While I was waiting for him, one famous ballerina asked what I was doing there, and to just come on in and try something with my cousin. Just like that I was accepted!
An established go-to guy for many of the most popular revue shows brought to Atlantic City over the years, producer Mario Bazinet returns to town with the Tropicana Holiday Extravaganza that runs on select dates through Dec. 20 at The Showroom.
The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority offers the following suggestions to "DO AC Free For The Holidays."
The Atlantic City Ballet’s two newest productions, 'Caught Up in the Swing' and '7 Sins.' will be featured as double-header productions at three southern New Jersey locations — Rowan University’s Wilson Hall’s Pfleeger Theater (Saturday, March 17, starting 7pm); the Ocean First Theater in Manahawkin (Saturday, March 31, 7pm); and at Richard Stockton College’s Performing Arts Center (Thursday, April 19, 7pm). Both productions are family friendly and appropriate for all ages.
'The Nutcracker' is fundamental to every holiday season and has been part of the Atlantic City Ballet’s annual repertoire since its foundation in 1982.
“I think for a lot of people it’s like a kickoff to the holiday season, and an event people enjoy going to see each year,” says the A.C. Ballet's Phyllis Papa, who employs 22 professional dancers in the production, many of whom come from, and were formally ballet trained in, other countries.
For Phyllis Papa, artistic director of the Atlantic Ballet, the company’s annual production of The Nutcracker, to be performed at the Stockton Performing Arts Center Friday and Saturday (Dec. 11-12), is both a time of happiness, and just a little sadness.
The Nutcracker Ballet, one of the world's most popular holiday productions, proves that even a common little nutcracker can become an enchanting prince. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will feature tw...
WHO WOULD HAVE guessed that The Nutcracker ballet would become a beloved holiday tradition more than 100 years after its original performance? Even famous Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky probably had his doubts. Tchaikovsky wrote the score for the ballet, which is based on an adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman's story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The first production of The Nutcracker in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 17, 1892 was panned by the critics and the audience. However, later productions were greeted with favor. When the Moscow Ballet brings its critically acclaimed Great Russian Nutcracker to the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for two shows on Saturday, Dec. 11, it will mark the first time that the casino offers entertainment that is sure to delight family members of all ages. "I thought it was a good time of the year to do something like this," says Larry Mullin, Borgata executive vice president and chief operating officer. "And it's received a tremendous response. Tickets are reasonably priced and they're going very fast." Mullin says that Ron Hudson, Borgata director of entertainment, expressed the idea of bringing The Nutcracker to the Borgata. "I was very familiar with the show, and knew...