Downeast School Grad

Sebastian is the first graduate of our ballet class at Downeast School to appear in a production – a very exciting “first” for us. Founder Jane Bragg organizes the free class taught with Bangor Ballet dancers. Sebastian and Ms. Bragg found something special in each other – as you can see. Our youngest toy soldier has no doubt about why he got to be in Nutcracker. “I will never give up working to be a dancer,” says Sebastian.

Bangor Ballet performed at the school first -- “students would talk about the performers and their costumes for several days after the performance,” according to Principal Al Mooers. Ms. Bragg says the idea for the class came out of the Q & A. Students asked how they could learn to dance like that; Ms. Bragg said “I thought every child should have the opportunity to step into the shoes of the dancers.

This is the third year the class has been offered once a week after school to third-graders. Principal Mooers told us that one of the high points last year was when the students performed in front of the entire school. “Their parents were invited and were so proud of their children.”

This year we are very proud to have Eliana Seburn teaching with Ms. Bragg. Eliana, who also does gymnastics and plays the flute, is a student at John Bapst High School in Bangor. Eliana will appear in several roles in Nutcracker, including as Lead Angel and demi-soloist in Marzipan. We know you will enjoy seeing Sebastian and Eliana perform this season!

All New Choreography

Our first Nutcracker in a Nutshell with Artistic Director Roberto Forleo features all new choreography by Mr. Forleo, with guest choreographer Michelle Mola contributing a thrilling Battle Scene. There are new treats in store, including golden angels and gingerbread, who are hard to keep in the kitchen! Many thanks go out to the Bangor Historical Society for hosting our cast for a photo shoot – and to Michael Hallahan of FinePrints, who captures our dancers’ art so magically. 

New Performance Venue

Finally, be sure to join us for our first performance at The Crosby Center in Belfast! This venue is a newly re-opened performance space in a former school. Like the Bangor Arts Exchange ballroom, this fine old theater was closed and unused for ten years. We are collaborating with Midcoast Performing Arts Initiative, the nonprofit that began operating the theater in July, to build an audience for ballet in Belfast – we hope to perform here regularly and look forward to the challenge of a new performance space!