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'The Nutcracker' Classic

Russell School of Ballet to perform Tchaikovsky's Ballet.

The Fairfax Ballet, the resident company of Chantilly's Russell School of Ballet, will be performing its 12th production of the timeless classic, "The Nutcracker," on Nov. 26-28 at the Fairfax High School Theater.

"We are giving dancers of all levels and ability the opportunity to take part in this production," said Artistic Director Ilona Russell of the professional dancers taking part in Tchaikovsky's Ballet.

"The Nutcracker's" big-budget production will feature full, colorful costumes, and original choreography by Fairfax Ballet Artistic Director Thomas Russell and staff Margaret McGarry, Mary Henley, Mary Marshall and Steve Higgins along with featuring five guest artists from senior members of the Fairfax Ballet Company.

PRODUCED BY the Fairfax Ballet, "The Nutcracker" features specially made sets designed by Til Turner of George Mason University in association with lighting designer Ralph Hoffman.

"The choreography featured in this performance is our own production. Our dancers have rehearsed and put a lot of effort into this, so we are very much looking forward to putting this together for our audience," said Ilona Russell.

Fairfax resident Ashley Burger, who is a member of the Fairfax Ballet Senior Company, will play the role of Clara. Chantilly resident Deanna Fernandez will dance the role of the Ballerina Doll and Centreville's Khori Rogers will dance the role of the Snow Queen. Other Fairfax Ballet dancers performing in the show include: Reston's Brenna Duncan and Vienna's Kirsten Schnittker (the variation of Spanish), Alexandria's Andrea Jones (the variation of Arabian), Clifton's Jennifer Mokodean (the variation of Chinese), Centreville's Emily Gardner, Oak Hill's Lindsey Golden and Chantilly's Lauren Sutton (the variation of Trepak), and Vienna's Emily Cloyd and Oak Hill's Leah Zacherl and Kelly Ream in their roles of the Merlitons.

"I am excited to be dancing variations of Trepek and Snow. I have been dancing for the Russell School for about 14 years," said Oak Hill resident Lindsey Golden.

Brenna Duncan has been with the Russell School since age 4. Now at 16, she is confident in performing the Spanish variations of the play and Snow.

Dancers for "The Nutcracker" also include Florian Rouiller who will dance the role of the Nutcracker Prince. Marcela Figueroa with Keith Schaeffer as her Cavalier will play the Sugar Plum Fairy. Matthew Linzer will be dancing to the roles of the Soldier Doll, Arabian and the Waltz of the Flowers. Larry Miller will perform the Spanish and Trepak variations of Dr. Stahlbaum.

THE RUSSELL SCHOOL of Ballet offers full programs in classical ballet, pointe and variations, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical and stretch for children, teens and adults from the pre-school through professional levels. Year-round registration is available. Dancers trained at the Russell School of Ballet have gone on to dance professionally in the New York City Ballet and many other professional companies. Dancers have also received scholarships from major college dance departments.

The show will be performed at Fairfax High School Theater, 3500 Old Lee Highway, on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 3 p.m.

Ticket prices are as follows: $25 (center orchestra), $22 (side orchestra) and $18 (balcony).

To purchase tickets, come by the Russell School of Ballet, located at 14119-O Sullyfield Circle in Chantilly, between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. To charge tickets by telephone or for more information, call 703-378-4999, or visit: www.fairfaxballet.com.