Press Releases

Nutcracker '09 by the Purchase Dance Corps- Dec. 4,5,6

Date Released: 11/5/2009

Tchaikovsky's holiday classic features the Purchase Symphony Orchestra, the Purchase Dance Corps, and Pennsylvania Ballet Principal dancers Julie Diana and Zachary Hench.





Nutcracker ’09, a traditional version of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic, will be presented by the Purchase Dance Corps at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center on December 4, 5, 6.  More than 200 area children will participate in this elaborately staged production.


Tickets are $52.50, $42.50 and $27.50.  To order call the box office at 914-251-6200 or visit  Performance times are Friday, Dec. 4 at 7:15 PM; Saturday, December 5 at 2 PM and 7 PM; Sunday December 6 at 1 PM and 5 PM.


This year’s guest artists Julie Diana and Zachary Hench, Principal dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet, star in the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. The couple met while performing as Principal dancers with the San Francisco Ballet.  They returned to the East Coast and joined the Pennsylvania Ballet as Principal dancers in 2004.  He proposed to her on stage after a performance of Romeo and Juliet.


Another attraction is live performances of Tchaikovsky’s score by the Purchase Symphony Orchestra led by Michael Adelson, the new conductor of the Purchase Symphony Orchestra . He is a composer, writer and educator on the conducting staff of the New York Philharmonic.

The internationally renowned Purchase Dance Corps is the performing company of the School of the Arts Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College.  They annually present a diversity of work ranging from reconstructions to new works created especially for the Purchase Dance Corps including contemporary, modern, and classical ballet repertory at their winter and spring concerts and at festivals in the United States and abroad.


The starring role of Clara will be shared by three young women. They are Sarah Better and Lily Cosgrove of Greenwich, CT and Veronica Orgera of Rye New York.


Artistic director for the production is former New York City Ballet soloist and Conservatory of Dance professor Bettijane Sills.  She has had an extensive stage career appearing in Broadway productions and performing as a child actress on television. George Balanchine personally invited her to join the New York City Ballet where she was a soloist and principal dancer with the company for many years.  Balanchine created roles for her in “Who Cares” and “Jewels.” Choreographer Jerome Robbins also created a role for her in his revival of “The Concert.”


Julie Diana, originally of Summit New Jersey, began taking ballet at age seven and later trained at the School of American Ballet.  She supplemented her training with dance intensives at the Joffrey Ballet School and the San Francisco Ballet School. She joined the San Francisco Ballet and later became a Principal.


Zachary Hench from Loysville, Pennsylvania studied at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, was a student of Bettijane Sills’, and went on to train at the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC.  He joined the Boston Ballet and rose in the ranks to become a Principal, performing classical and contemporary works.  He went on to the San Francisco Ballet as a soloist and was promoted to Principal in 2003.


Michael Adelson has extensive experience, having conducted the New York Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and many other ensembles in Europe and America.  He has conducted opera productions in Scandinavia and is deeply committed to music of our time, having worked with composers such as Pierre Boulez, Bernard Rands, Harrison Birtwistle, Mangus Lindberg and others.  He has written and conducted young people’s concerts with the New York, Helsinki and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras.  He is currently writing a book for non-musicians on the nature and art of conducting.


Nutcracker ’09 is based on the classic tale by E.T.A. Hoffman and is set to music by Peter Tchaikovsky.  On a very special Christmas Eve, a young girl receives an unusual gift from her adored grandfather, a little Nutcracker doll.  Later that night, she returns to the parlor to cuddle her doll and suddenly finds herself immersed in a world of danger and magic, as her Nutcracker Prince comes alive to battle armies of giant mice and lead her through the snow, into the land of sweets.



Artistic staff:


Choreographers: Larry Clark, Ted Kivitt, Rosanna Seravalli, Bettijane Sills, Megan Williams, Gayle Young, Stephanie Tooman


Lighting Designer: David Grill


Costume Designers: Christina Giannini, Bryant Hoven, Juliet Shore


Set Designer: Hal Tine