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Edgewood High senior to star as Snow Queen in Ballet Chesapeake’s presentation of ‘The Nutcracker’ at Towson University

Anastasia Bekker, 17, a senior at Edgewood High School, will be dancing the “Snow Queen” role in Ballet Chesapeake’s production of “The Nutcracker” this year.
Anastasia Bekker, 17, a senior at Edgewood High School, will be dancing the “Snow Queen” role in Ballet Chesapeake’s production of “The Nutcracker” this year.

Ballet Chesapeake’s upcoming performances of “The Nutcracker” at Towson University’s Stephens Hall Theatre (7900 Stephens Ave.) are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m.

“The Nutcracker” ballet is a classic holiday performance dating back to an original Russian premiere in 1892, with a score by world-renowned composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Ballet Chesapeake’s 2019 production, complete with grand-scale backdrops and new Maryland flag-themed soldier costumes, is sure to delight guests of all ages.

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Thanks in part to a recent move to the Boulevard at Box Hill in September, auditions for this year’s production were larger than ever before.

“We had more than 75 children from studios throughout northern Maryland audition this year,” Kaitlin Weber, executive director of Ballet Chesapeake, said. “It’s the largest class we’ve ever had — and we’re excited for each and every one of them to get the chance to perform. We don’t like turning aspiring young dancers away."

Anastasia Bekker, a senior at Edgewood High School enrolled in the International Baccalaureate magnet program, will dance the Snow Queen role. Bekker, 17, of Abingdon, has danced with Ballet Chesapeake since she was 4 years old.

“Anastasia has danced with us her whole life,” Barclay Gibbs, Ballet Chesapeake’s artistic director, said. “She’s put in a ton of hard work and dedication, and we’re excited to see her come alive as our Snow Queen on stage in December."

Nardia Boodoo, Ballet Chesapeake’s guest “Sugarplum Fairy” in this year's production of "The Nutcracker," is an apprentice of the Washington Ballet.
Nardia Boodoo, Ballet Chesapeake’s guest “Sugarplum Fairy” in this year's production of "The Nutcracker," is an apprentice of the Washington Ballet.

Special guests for this year’s performances are Nardia Boodoo, who will perform as the Sugarplum Fairy, and Andile Ndlovu, her Cavalier counterpart. Both are visiting from the renowned Washington Ballet. Boodoo, a Baltimore native, is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts, who went on to earn scholarships to attend prestigious dance schools including the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jacob’s Pillow and the North Carolina School for the Arts.

Guests of Ballet Chesapeake’s performances are invited to give back to their community by bringing new, unwrapped gifts to support Toys for Tots. Donation boxes will be positioned throughout the venue for attendees to donate a gift for children in need. Tickets went on sale Oct. 11 and can be purchased by visiting balletchesapeake.org or calling 410-877-0777. Ticket prices range from $19 to $25 in advance; $30 at the door.

Ballet Chesapeake is supported in part by state arts funding through a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Harford County Cultural Arts Board and seeks financial backing for the valuable art of ballet through memberships, grants and personal and corporate donations.

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