Tag Archives: Dance Kids

Young Dancer Chooses to Pay it Forward on her Birthday, In Lieu of Gifts, Making A Donation to Dance Kids of Monterey County

Dancer Alexa Julian could have chosen personal birthday gifts, which for a dancer usually means new leotards or tights, a dance bag or a new pair of pointe shoes.

Carmel, CA, March 12, 2019 — Dancer Alexa Julian could have chosen personal birthday gifts, which for a dancer usually means new leotards or tights, a dance bag or a new pair of pointe shoes. Instead, she chose to honor her birthday by honoring her first passion, dance.

Through personal notes and social media posts to friends and family, for her birthday, Julian requested donations to Dance Kids of Monterey County, a nonprofit youth theatrical organization that the 15-year-old has been dancing with for six years.

She was able to donate a check for $231 to Dance Kids. She has danced in Dance Kids’ renowned “Nutcracker” ballet since she was 9 years old. Her instructors/coaches have included Philip Pegler, Sandra Burnham, Ashley Rutherford and Amanda Casas.

Julian excels in jazz and contemporary styles of movement, yet her emphasis on classical ballet finds this otherwise typical teenager in the Carmel Academy of Performing Arts dance studios, seven days a week and often more than five hours a day.

One week before her birthday, Alexa placed second overall in her performance of classical ballet variation from the ballet, “Giselle” and the variation called the “third shade” from “La Bayadere,” a ballet first performed in 1877 in St. Petersburg, Russia with choreography by Marius Petipa. She placed in the top 12 for her contemporary dance “McQueen,” an homage to Alexander McQueen, the late British fashion designer and couturier in the House of Givenchy, at the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Competition.

She has been invited to participate in the final competition of YAGP in New York City. As many gifted young people must learn, life is a series of choices. Alexa also garnered a coveted space in the summer intensive at the Paris Opera Ballet as well as the International Ballet Master Classes, held at the Czech National Ballet in Prague. Paris and Prague have taken precedence over New York. She leaves midsummer for the dance intensives many only can dream of attending.

Although only 15 and a pre-professional dancer on her first steps to a career, she chose to honor an organization promoting the arts to young people and to help others, even on her special day!

About Dance Kids

With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids of Monterey County, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experience that support the youth of the Monterey Peninsula. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker” and original spring musicals written by Walt de Faria and a full-length spring ballet, produced at Sunset Center.

Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musical and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued at the venue for the spring musicals, until those too, outgrew the dance studio. “Nutcracker” moved to Sunset Center in 1995 and has remained there as its home venue except for the years the center was being remodeled.

Dance Kids “Nutcracker” has grown into a premier production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. This year is one of pivotal change and growth.

Street Address:

Sunset Center, Cottage #17

San Carlos Street at 10th Ave.,

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 6225

Carmel, CA 93921

Phone: (831) 622-9008

Fax: (831) 218-1293

Email: info@dancekids.org

Website: dancekids.org

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.dancekids.org

Mini Performance of Dance Kids’ ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition,’ will be held Dec. 22 at Carmel Valley Ranch

Dance Kids of Monterey County, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, announced that it will perform a mini version of its popular “Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition,” Dec. 22, at Carmel Valley Ranch.

Carmel, CA, October 30, 2018 — Dance Kids of Monterey County, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, announced that it will perform a mini version of its popular “Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition,” Dec. 22, at Carmel Valley Ranch.

Due to renovations at the Ranch, the event will be held in the Golf Club House this year. The event will be held from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., with the show beginning at 2:30 p.m.

A full production of Dance Kids’ “Nutcracker” will be performed Dec. 7-9 at the Sunset Center in Carmel. The full production features the 39-member Monterey County Pops! symphony orchestra conducted by Dr. Carl Christensen. And, for the first time, the production will feature a children’s choir performing onstage during Act I’s “Dance of the Snowflakes.”

About Dance Kids

With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids of Monterey County, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experience that support the youth of the Monterey Peninsula. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker” and original spring musicals written by Walt de Faria and a full-length spring ballet, produced at Sunset Center.

Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musical and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued at the venue for the spring musicals, until those too, outgrew the dance studio. “Nutcracker” moved to Sunset Center in 1995 and has remained there as its home venue except for the years the center was being remodeled.

Dance Kids “Nutcracker” has grown into a premier production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. This year is one of pivotal change and growth.

Street Address:

Sunset Center, Cottage #17

San Carlos Street at 10th Ave.,

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 6225

Carmel, CA 93921

Phone: (831) 622-9008

Fax: (831) 218-1293

Email: info@dancekids.org

Website: dancekids.org

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.dancekids.org

December Dates Set for Dance Kids’ 25th Anniversary Full-Length ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition,’ Featuring 39-Member Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Choir, at Carmel’s Sunset Center

Dance Kids of Monterey County, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, announced that its popular “Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition,” will be performed Dec. 7-9 at the Sunset Center in Carmel.

Carmel, CA, June 19, 2018 — Dance Kids of Monterey County, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, announced that its popular “Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition,” will be performed Dec. 7-9 at the Sunset Center in Carmel.

Once again, the annual ballet will feature the 39-member Monterey County Pops! symphony orchestra conducted by Dr. Carl Christensen. And, for the first time, the production will feature a children’s choir performing onstage during Act I’s “Dance of the Snowflakes.”

“We are so honored and excited to be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year,” says Dance Kids founder and artistic director, Carol Richmond. “It’s so heartening to know that the community continues to support our mission to strengthen character and positively influence children’s lives through the performing arts. We will continue to grow and improve and bring on new talent to carry on that legacy.”

With that in mind, Dance Kids also announced they have named veteran professional dancer and teacher Philip Pegler as its new Artistic Director. Pegler has more than 30 years of experience in classical ballet as a professional dancer and teacher. He was most recently Dance Kids’ Ballet Director.

The performance weekend begins Dec. 7, 2018, with another tradition and a gift to the community; a free 10 a.m. Friday morning show given each year to the school children of the Monterey Peninsula. Dance Kids gifts the 700-seat theater to the underserved youth in the community.

There will be a 7 p.m. Friday night show, a Gala fundraiser on Saturday night, Dec. 8, 2018, at 5 p.m. and show at 7, and the much-anticipated “Sugar Plum Fairy Champagne and Tea Party” at 12:15 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, followed by the show at 2 p.m.

The full-length ballet features more than 100 dancers ranging in age from 4 to adult; over 400 costumes and countless numbers of accessories, including headpieces, hats and gloves. This production requires countless hours of volunteer time and elaborate set design featuring local scenes and landmarks. The previous budget of $75,000 has grown to over $125,000 with the inclusion of the symphony. The funds were raised by the Dance Kids Board of Directors and Friends of Dance Kids.

A new addition to the production this year will be a children’s choir under the direction of Dance Kids vocal and drama instructor Stacy Meheen. The choir of children ages 6-14 will perform a wordless vocalization during Act I’s finale, “Waltz of the Snowflakes.”

“It’s an angelic sound, it’s quite lovely,” says Meheen, who is the executive director of the Wharf Theatre and voice and drama teacher at Carmel River School. “It will be very special and very spectacular.”

Meheen is seeking singers for the choir and has scheduled vocal auditions for children 6-14, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at Carmel Academy of Performing Arts, Mission Street and Eighth Avenue, in Carmel. For more information, call (831) 624-3729.

The entire production is open to all dancers from the community and boasts a spirit of inclusion to all that audition. Auditions and rehearsal begin in September. Andrea Paris Gutierrez, of the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, returns as choreographer, with five local rehearsal directors coordinating the production. Three of the five directors are Royal Academy of Dance, London, certified instructors.

Three years ago, Dance Kids rebranded “Nutcracker; A Monterey Peninsula Tradition” and incorporated the Old Del Monte Hotel as the setting for the first act party scene and introduced famous characters associated with the Peninsula, such as Salvador Dali and John Steinbeck.

Richmond says, “The story line and choreography remain the same yet reflect the tradition of the heyday of the Peninsula in the early ’20s and ’30s.”

In the near future, the production will announce the guest artists performing in December’s productions.

Set designer for the production is Nicole Bryant-Stephans of Bottega Design, and costumes are by Joanne Phelps.

In addition, Dance Kids of Monterey County will once again present performances of “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” in South County schools in November.

Now in its fifth year of touring Monterey County, the annual holiday tradition in story and dance celebrates the rich culture of Mexico and countries south of the border. The idea of melding European music and music from Spanish-speaking countries to create a “Cascanueces” has brought together mariachi musicians, folkloric choreographers and local ballet dancers.

The November 2018 tour date of “Cascanueces” is reserved by South County schools early each school year in the anticipation of a colorful and educational assembly. The tour begins in San Ardo with performances in San Lucas, King City, Greenfield and Salinas.

Sponsorships are now available for “Cascanueces” as well as in June for December’s “Nutcracker” performances. Call (831) 622-9008 for more information.

Monterey County Pops! was founded in 1985 and not only provides to the community free, public pops-and-patriotic concerts on holidays, but is the only orchestra in Monterey County that provides a tuition-free, professional performance experience for disadvantaged students in their own communities.

Their audience has grown to approximately 6,700 and 175 young, underserved performers created six professional-quality performances in collaboration with the orchestra last year.

About Dance Kids

With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids of Monterey County, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experience that support the youth of the Monterey Peninsula. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker” and original spring musicals written by Walt de Faria and a full-length spring ballet, produced at Sunset Center.

Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musical and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued at the venue for the spring musicals, until those too, outgrew the dance studio. “Nutcracker” moved to Sunset Center in 1995 and has remained there as its home venue except for the years the center was being remodeled.

Dance Kids “Nutcracker” has grown into a premier production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. This year is one of pivotal change and growth.

Street Address:

Sunset Center, Cottage #17

San Carlos Street at 10th Ave.,

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 6225

Carmel, CA 93921

Phone: (831) 622-9008

Fax: (831) 218-1293

Email: info@dancekids.org

Website: dancekids.org

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.dancekids.org

Dance Kids of Monterey County Will Present Fifth Annual Performances of ‘A Folklorico Nutcracker’ at South County Schools in November

Now in its fifth year of touring Monterey County, Dance Kids of Monterey County will once again present performances of “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” in South County schools in November.

Carmel, CA, June 18, 2018 — Now in its fifth year of touring Monterey County, Dance Kids of Monterey County will once again present performances of “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” in South County schools in November.

The annual holiday tradition in story and dance celebrates the rich culture of Mexico and countries south of the border. The idea of melding European music and music from Spanish-speaking countries to create a “Cascanueces” has brought together mariachi musicians, folkloric choreographers and local ballet dancers.

This year, 10 students each from elementary schools in San Ardo, San Lucas, Greenfield, and King City, will study a dance with two folkloric dancers and one musician for six weeks prior to the school performance. These students will then perform with the professional troupe in the assembly at their respective schools.

Ten mariachi musicians will perform Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece rewritten by Salinas-born Jalisco harpist, William Faulkner. The program includes the four divertissements from the second act and the much-loved “Sugar Plum Fairy” solo, performed by a Dance Kids’ ballerina in a traditional tutu. Folkloric dancers perform four traditional, and very different, dance styles from four Mexican states. Together the program bridges cultures and fosters growth and understanding of diversity through the art of dance.

The November 2018 tour date of “Cascanueces” is reserved by South County schools early each school year in the anticipation of a colorful and educational assembly. The tour begins in San Ardo with performances in San Lucas, King City, Greenfield and Salinas.

At least two of the schools invite other schools to their assemblies, allowing Dance Kids to impact more than seven schools in one tour date. In November 2017, there were more than 1,500 audience members in elementary through high school in attendance. The day culminated in a performance at Hartnell College in Salinas to a standing-room-only, 250-seat music hall setting.

Dance Kids of Monterey County, founded in 1993, is a non-profit group with the objective of bringing the art of the dance and theater experience to all youngsters in Monterey County. In 25 years, the organization has produced more than 50 productions, including month-long summer theater intensives, traditional and full-length story ballets.

Dance Kids now supports an ongoing afterschool learning program in a Monterey Peninsula Unified School District location, in addition to its popular annual performances of “Nutcracker” at Carmel’s Sunset Cultural Center and “Cascanueces.”

The two directors/choreographers for “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” husband-and-wife team Maria Luisa Colmenarez and Rudy Garcia, were consultants on the Academy Award-nominated Pixar animated film “Coco.”

About Dance Kids

With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Carol Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experiences that support kids to flourish. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker ”and original spring musicals. Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musicals and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued as the venue for the spring productions, until those too outgrew the dance studio.

Dance Kids has grown Dance Kids’ “Nutcracker” into a spectacular production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. The Founder, Executive Director and the Board of Directors are proud to carry the traditions of dance and theater to the Monterey Peninsula.

Dance Kids of Monterey County was created to provide ongoing performance opportunities in dance the theater arts to the youth of Monterey County. Its mission is to strengthen character and positively influence children’s lives through the performing arts.

iHeart Radio is the media sponsor of the Fifth Annual Performances of ‘A Folklorico Nutcracker.

Street Address:

Sunset Center, Cottage #17

San Carlos Street at 10th Ave.,

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 6225

Carmel, CA 93921

Phone: (831) 622-9008

Fax: (831) 218-1293

Email: info@dancekids.org

Website: dancekids.org

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.dancekids.org

December Dates Set for Dance Kids’ 25th Anniversary Full-Length ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition,’ Featuring 39-Member Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Choir, at Carmel’s Sunset Center

Dance Kids of Monterey County, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, announced that its popular “Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition

Carmel, CA, May 18, 2018 — Dance Kids of Monterey County, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, announced that its popular “Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition,” will be performed Dec. 7-9 at the Sunset Center in Carmel.

Once again, the annual ballet will feature the 39-member Monterey County Pops! symphony orchestra conducted by Dr. Carl Christensen. And, for the first time, the production will feature a children’s choir performing onstage during Act I’s “Dance of the Snowflakes.”

“We are so honored and excited to be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year,” says Dance Kids founder and artistic director, Carol Richmond. “It’s so heartening to know that the community continues to support our mission to strengthen character and positively influence children’s lives through the performing arts. We will continue to grow and improve and bring on new talent to carry on that legacy.”

With that in mind, Dance Kids also announced they have named veteran professional dancer and teacher Philip Pegler as its new Artistic Director. Pegler has more than 30 years of experience in classical ballet as a professional dancer and teacher. He was most recently Dance Kids’ Ballet Director.

The performance weekend begins Dec. 7, 2018, with another tradition and a gift to the community; a free 10 a.m. Friday morning show given each year to the school children of the Monterey Peninsula. Dance Kids gifts the 700-seat theater to the underserved youth in the community.

There will be a 7 p.m. Friday night show, a Gala fundraiser on Saturday night, Dec. 8, 2018, at 5 p.m. and show at 7, and the much-anticipated “Sugar Plum Fairy Champagne and Tea Party” at 12:15 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, followed by the show at 2 p.m.

The full-length ballet features more than 100 dancers ranging in age from 4 to adult; over 400 costumes and countless numbers of accessories, including headpieces, hats and gloves. This production requires countless hours of volunteer time and elaborate set design featuring local scenes and landmarks. The previous budget of $75,000 has grown to over $125,000 with the inclusion of the symphony. The funds were raised by the Dance Kids Board of Directors and Friends of Dance Kids.

A new addition to the production this year will be a children’s choir under the direction of Dance Kids vocal and drama instructor Stacy Meheen. The choir of children ages 6-14 will perform a wordless vocalization during Act I’s finale, “Waltz of the Snowflakes.”

“It’s an angelic sound, it’s quite lovely,” says Meheen, who is the executive director of the Wharf Theatre and voice and drama teacher at Carmel River School. “It will be very special and very spectacular.”

Meheen is seeking singers for the choir and has scheduled vocal auditions for children 6-14, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at Carmel Academy of Performing Arts, Mission Street and Eighth Avenue, in Carmel. For more information, call (831) 624-3729.

The entire production is open to all dancers from the community and boasts a spirit of inclusion to all that audition. Auditions and rehearsal begin in September. Andrea Paris Gutierrez, of the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, returns as choreographer, with five local rehearsal directors coordinating the production. Three of the five directors are Royal Academy of Dance, London, certified instructors.

Three years ago, Dance Kids rebranded “Nutcracker; A Monterey Peninsula Tradition” and incorporated the Old Del Monte Hotel as the setting for the first act party scene and introduced famous characters associated with the Peninsula, such as Salvador Dali and John Steinbeck.

Richmond says, “The story line and choreography remain the same yet reflect the tradition of the heyday of the Peninsula in the early ’20s and ’30s.”

In the near future, the production will announce the guest artists performing in December’s productions.

Set designer for the production is Nicole Bryant-Stephans of Bottega Design, and costumes are by Joanne Phelps.

In addition, Dance Kids of Monterey County will once again present performances of “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” in South County schools in November.

Now in its fifth year of touring Monterey County, the annual holiday tradition in story and dance celebrates the rich culture of Mexico and countries south of the border. The idea of melding European music and music from Spanish-speaking countries to create a “Cascanueces” has brought together mariachi musicians, folkloric choreographers and local ballet dancers.

The November 2018 tour date of “Cascanueces” is reserved by South County schools early each school year in the anticipation of a colorful and educational assembly. The tour begins in San Ardo with performances in San Lucas, King City, Greenfield and Salinas.

Sponsorships are now available for “Cascanueces” as well as in June for December’s “Nutcracker” performances. Call (831) 622-9008 for more information.

Monterey County Pops! was founded in 1985 and not only provides to the community free, public pops-and-patriotic concerts on holidays, but is the only orchestra in Monterey County that provides a tuition-free, professional performance experience for disadvantaged students in their own communities.

Their audience has grown to approximately 6,700 and 175 young, underserved performers created six professional-quality performances in collaboration with the orchestra last year.

About Dance Kids

With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids of Monterey County, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experience that support the youth of the Monterey Peninsula. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker” and original spring musicals written by Walt de Faria and a full-length spring ballet, produced at Sunset Center.

Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musical and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued at the venue for the spring musicals, until those too, outgrew the dance studio. “Nutcracker” moved to Sunset Center in 1995 and has remained there as its home venue except for the years the center was being remodeled.

Dance Kids “Nutcracker” has grown into a premier production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. This year is one of pivotal change and growth.

Street Address:

Sunset Center, Cottage #17

San Carlos Street at 10th Ave.,

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 6225

Carmel, CA 93921

Phone: (831) 622-9008

Fax: (831) 218-1293

Email: info@dancekids.org

Website: dancekids.org

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.dancekids.org

Dance Kids of Monterey County Names Experienced Professional Dancer and Teacher as New Artistic Director

Dance Kids of Monterey County has named veteran professional dancer and teacher Philip Pegler as its new Artistic Director.

Carmel, CA, April 19, 2018 — Dance Kids of Monterey County has named veteran professional dancer and teacher Philip Pegler as its new Artistic Director.

Pegler has more than 30 years of experience in Classical Ballet as a professional dancer and teacher. He is the Ballet Director at Carmel Academy of Performing Arts and has been a Rehearsal Director for Dance Kids for the past four years.

Born in England in 1974, Pegler began his study of Classical Ballet at the age of 5. In 1986, he embarked on his professional training, firstly at the Bush Davies School, followed by The Vaganova Academy, The Legat School and The Harid Conservatory in Florida, where he graduated in 1992. Later that year, Philip was accepted into The Royal Ballet School where he completed his training both as a dancer and teacher.

Upon graduation, Philip became Ballet Master and Soloist Dancer with Columbia City Ballet in South Carolina and was subsequently appointed to the position of Artistic Director of the South Carolina Dance Theatre the following year.

In 1998 he became Director of the Calvert-Brodie School of Dance where he taught such notable students as Cameron Adams, Dusty Button, Brooklyn Mack, Sara Mearns, Joseph Phillips and Christian Tworzyanski.

In 2002 Philip was appointed Professor at the University of Florida where he created a new curriculum for the University’s Ballet program as well as serving as a pre-performance lecturer at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

From 2009-14 Philip taught at Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham before returning to the United States. In April 2010, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Royal Academy of Dance. Philip is an acclaimed international master-teacher and is a guest faculty member of several respected schools throughout the world.

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.dancekids.org/

Dance Kids of Monterey County Will Present Fifth Annual Performances of ‘A Folklorico Nutcracker’ at South County Schools in November

Now in its fifth year of touring Monterey County, Dance Kids of Monterey County will once again present performances of “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” in South County schools in November.

Carmel, CA, March 24, 2018 — Now in its fifth year of touring Monterey County, Dance Kids of Monterey County will once again present performances of “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” in South County schools in November.

The annual holiday tradition in story and dance celebrates the rich culture of Mexico and countries south of the border. The idea of melding European music and music from Spanish-speaking countries to create a “Cascanueces” has brought together mariachi musicians, folkloric choreographers and local ballet dancers.

This year, 10 students each from elementary schools in San Ardo, San Lucas, Greenfield, and King City, will study a dance with two folkloric dancers and one musician for six weeks prior to the school performance. These students will then perform with the professional troupe in the assembly at their respective schools.

Ten mariachi musicians will perform Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece rewritten by Salinas-born Jalisco harpist, William Faulkner. The program includes the four divertissements from the second act and the much-loved “Sugar Plum Fairy” solo, performed by a Dance Kids’ ballerina in a traditional tutu. Folkloric dancers perform four traditional, and very different, dance styles from four Mexican states. Together the program bridges cultures and fosters growth and understanding of diversity through the art of dance.

The November 2018 tour date of “Cascanueces” is reserved by South County schools early each school year in the anticipation of a colorful and educational assembly. The tour begins in San Ardo with performances in San Lucas, King City, Greenfield and Salinas.

At least two of the schools invite other schools to their assemblies, allowing Dance Kids to impact more than seven schools in one tour date. In November 2017, there were more than 1,500 audience members in elementary through high school in attendance. The day culminated in a performance at Hartnell College in Salinas to a standing-room-only, 250-seat music hall setting.

Dance Kids of Monterey County, founded in 1993, is a non-profit group with the objective of bringing the art of the dance and theater experience to all youngsters in Monterey County. In 25 years, the organization has produced more than 50 productions, including month-long summer theater intensives, traditional and full-length story ballets.

Dance Kids now supports an ongoing afterschool learning program in a Monterey Peninsula Unified School District location, in addition to its popular annual performances of “Nutcracker” at Carmel’s Sunset Cultural Center and “Cascanueces.”

The two directors/choreographers for “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” husband-and-wife team Maria Luisa Colmenarez and Rudy Garcia, were consultants on the Academy Award-nominated Pixar animated film “Coco.”

About Dance Kids

With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Carol Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experiences that support kids to flourish. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker ”and original spring musicals. Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musicals and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued as the venue for the spring productions, until those too outgrew the dance studio.

Dance Kids has grown Dance Kids’ “Nutcracker” into a spectacular production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. The Founder, Executive Director and the Board of Directors are proud to carry the traditions of dance and theater to the Monterey Peninsula.

Dance Kids of Monterey County was created to provide ongoing performance opportunities in dance the theater arts to the youth of Monterey County. Its mission is to strengthen character and positively influence children’s lives through the performing arts.

Street Address:

Sunset Center, Cottage #17

San Carlos Street at 10th Ave.,

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 6225

Carmel, CA 93921

Phone: (831) 622-9008

Fax: (831) 218-1293

Email: info@dancekids.org

Website: dancekids.org

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.dancekids.org

Dance Kids 24th Annual Full Length ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition’ will Feature, for The First Time, A 39-Member Symphony Orchestra, Playing for its Four December Production Dates at Carmel’s Sunset Center

For the first time in its history, Dance Kids will kick off its Silver Anniversary Celebration Year with ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition’

Carmel, CA, August 17, 2017 — For the first time in its history, Dance Kids will kick off its Silver Anniversary Celebration Year with ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition’ in December at Carmel’s Sunset Center, and feature, along with the cast of the ballet, a complete 39-member symphony orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s familiar holiday score.

The 39-member Monterey County Pops!, conducted by Dr. Carl Christensen, will perform in the orchestra pit at Sunset Center with Dance Kids dancers on stage in the annual full-length holiday ballet.

“It is something I’ve always wanted; a quarter-century dream come true,” says Dance Kids founder and artistic director, Carol Richmond. ”This will be a totally different experience for the audience, having a live orchestra perform the music. It is very exciting.”

Monterey County Pops! was founded in 1985 and not only provides to the community free, public pops-and-patriotic concerts on holidays, but is the only orchestra in Monterey County that provides a tuition-free, professional performance experience for disadvantaged students in their own communities.

Their audience has grown to approximately 6,700 and 175 young, underserved performers created six professional-quality performances in collaboration with the orchestra last year.

The performance weekend begins Dec. 8, 2017, with another tradition and a gift to the community; a free 10 a.m. Friday morning show given each year to the school children of the Monterey Peninsula. Dance Kids gifts the 700-seat theater to the underserved youth in the community. There will be a 7 p.m. Friday night show, Gala fundraiser on Saturday night, Dec. 9, 2017, at 5 p.m. and show at 7, and the much-anticipated “Sugar Plum Fairy Champagne and Tea Party” at 12:15 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10, followed by the show at 2 p.m.

Tickets will be available starting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, at www.sunsetcenter.org. Tickets are $49 for adults, $35 for children, $45 for students/military/seniors for performances; $135 for adults and $65 for children for the Gala fundraiser on Dec. 9. Tickets for the Gala only (no performance) are $100. Admission to the “Sugar Plum Fairy Champagne and Tea Party” on Sunday are $95 and $42 per person for a group of 10 or more.

The full-length ballet features over 100 dancers ranging in age from 4 to adult; over 400 costumes and countless numbers of accessories, including headpieces, hats and gloves. This production requires countless hours of volunteer time and elaborate set design featuring local scenes and landmarks. The previous budget of $75,000 has grown to over $125,000 with the inclusion of the symphony. The funds were raised by the Dance Kids Board of Directors and Friends of Dance Kids.

The production is open to all dancers from the community and boasts a spirit of inclusion to all that audition. Auditions and rehearsal begin in September. Andrea Paris Gutierrez, of the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, returns as choreographer, with five local rehearsal directors coordinating the production. Three of the five directors are Royal Academy of Dance, London, certified instructors.

“This is huge,” says Richmond. “The symphony component has raised our ‘Nutcracker’ above and beyond. This isn’t a baby step, this is an elegant leap into our celebration of Dance Kids’ Silver Anniversary Year.”

Two years ago, Dance Kids rebranded “Nutcracker; A Monterey Peninsula Tradition” and incorporated the Old Del Monte Hotel as the setting for the first act party scene and introduced famous characters associated with the Peninsula, such as Salvador Dali and John Steinbeck.

Richmond says, “The story line and choreography remain the same yet reflect the tradition of the heyday of the Peninsula in the early ’20s and ’30s.”

In the near future, the production will announce the guest artists performing in December’s productions.

Set designer for the production is Nicole Bryant-Stephans of Bottega Design, and costumes are by Joanne Phelps.

About Dance Kids

With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids of Monterey County, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experience that support the youth of the Monterey Peninsula. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker” and original spring musicals written by Walt de Faria and a full-length spring ballet, produced at Sunset Center.

Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musical and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued at the venue for the spring musicals, until those too, outgrew the dance studio. “Nutcracker” moved to Sunset Center in 1995 and has remained there as its home venue except for the years the center was being remodeled.

Dance Kids “Nutcracker” has grown into a premier production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. This year is one of pivotal change and growth.

About Monterey County Pops!

Monterey County Pops! was formed in 1985 by musicians and community leaders to expand and enrich musical experiences in Monterey County. In 1990, the orchestra adopted its mission to present free, public pops-and-patriotic concerts on holidays. In 2012, the orchestra renewed its commitment to serve all of Monterey County, not just the Monterey Peninsula.

Since 2012-13 music courses offered in Monterey County Public Schools has declined by more than 26 percent (California Department of Education Data Reporting Office). After-school music/enrichment programs are typically tuition-based and not accessible to low-income students. In the face of dwindling funding for the arts in our schools and rising concern about the inability of low-income students and their families to experience and create professional-quality, live music, in 2014, the Board of Trustees expanded its mission to focus on identifying, engaging, and educating the underserved youth of Monterey County.

In 2017, Monterey County Pops! is the only orchestra in Monterey County that provides a tuition-free, professional performance experience for disadvantaged students in their own communities. We do not impose a creative vision on our partner agencies, but work to enhance and expand programs already in place. Students don’t just perform on our stage; they rehearse and play in our professional orchestra.

And, all of our programs are FREE for both for the young performers and for audience members.

We have expanded our program from the Monterey Peninsula into Seaside, Salinas, and King City, and our audience has grown to approximately 6,700. Last year, more than 175 young, underserved performers created six professional-quality performances in collaboration with Monterey County Pops!

In short, Monterey County Pops! is living up to its mission “to be an orchestra dedicated to bringing pops and patriotic music performed by professional musicians to the families and visitors of Monterey County free of charge, and to strategically identify, engage, and educate underserved youth of Monterey County.”

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.sunsetcenter.org

Dance Kids 24th Annual Full Length ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition’ Will Feature, for the First Time, A 39-Member Symphony Orchestra, Playing for its Four December Production Dates at Carmel’s Sunset Center

For the first time in its history, Dance Kids will kick off its Silver Anniversary Celebration Year with ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition’ in December at Carmel’s Sunset Center

Carmel, CA, June 14, 2017 — For the first time in its history, Dance Kids will kick off its Silver Anniversary Celebration Year with ‘Nutcracker: A Monterey Peninsula Tradition’ in December at Carmel’s Sunset Center, and feature, along with the cast of the ballet, a complete 39-member symphony orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s familiar holiday score.

The 39-member Monterey County Pops!, conducted by Dr. Carl Christensen, will perform in the orchestra pit at Sunset Center with Dance Kids dancers on stage in the annual full-length holiday ballet.

“It is something I’ve always wanted; a quarter-century dream come true,” says Dance Kids founder and artistic director, Carol Richmond. ”This will be a totally different experience for the audience, having a live orchestra perform the music. It is very exciting.”

Monterey County Pops! was founded in 1985 and not only provides to the community free, public pops-and-patriotic concerts on holidays, but is the only orchestra in Monterey County that provides a tuition-free, professional performance experience for disadvantaged students in their own communities.

Their audience has grown to approximately 6,700 and 175 young, underserved performers created six professional-quality performances in collaboration with the orchestra last year.

The performance weekend begins Dec. 8, 2017, with another tradition and a gift to the community; a free 10 a.m. Friday morning show given each year to the school children of the Monterey Peninsula. Dance Kids gifts the 700-seat theater to the underserved youth in the community. There will be a 7 p.m. Friday night show, Gala fundraiser on Saturday night, Dec. 9, 2017, at 5 p.m. and show at 7, and the much-anticipated “Sugar Plum Fairy Champagne and Tea Party” at 12:15 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10, followed by the show at 2 p.m.

The full-length ballet features over 100 dancers ranging in age from 4 to adult; over 400 costumes and countless numbers of accessories, including headpieces, hats and gloves. This production requires countless hours of volunteer time and elaborate set design featuring local scenes and landmarks. The previous budget of $75,000 has grown to over $125,000 with the inclusion of the symphony. The funds were raised by the Dance Kids Board of Directors and Friends of Dance Kids.

The production is open to all dancers from the community and boasts a spirit of inclusion to all that audition. Auditions and rehearsal begin inSeptember. Andrea Paris Gutierrez, of the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, returns as choreographer, with five local rehearsal directors coordinating the production. Three of the five directors are Royal Academy of Dance, London, certified instructors.

“This is huge,” says Richmond. “The symphony component has raised our ‘Nutcracker’ above and beyond. This isn’t a baby step, this is an elegant leap into our celebration of Dance Kids’ Silver Anniversary Year.”

Two years ago, Dance Kids rebranded “Nutcracker; A Monterey Peninsula Tradition” and incorporated the Old Del Monte Hotel as the setting for the first act party scene and introduced famous characters associated with the Peninsula, such as Salvador Dali and John Steinbeck.

Richmond says, “The story line and choreography remain the same yet reflect the tradition of the heyday of the Peninsula in the early ’20s and ’30s.”

In the near future, the production will announce the guest artists performing in December’s productions.

Set designer for the production is Nicole Bryant-Stephans of Bottega Design, and costumes are by Joanne Phelps.

About Dance Kids

With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids of Monterey County, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experience that support the youth of the Monterey Peninsula. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker” and original spring musicals written by Walt de Faria and a full-length spring ballet, produced at Sunset Center.

Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musical and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued at the venue for the spring musicals, until those too, outgrew the dance studio. “Nutcracker” moved to Sunset Center in 1995 and has remained there as its home venue except for the years the center was being remodeled.

Dance Kids “Nutcracker” has grown into a premier production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. This year is one of pivotal change and growth.

About Monterey County Pops!

Monterey County Pops! was formed in 1985 by musicians and community leaders to expand and enrich musical experiences in Monterey County. In 1990, the orchestra adopted its mission to present free, public pops-and-patriotic concerts on holidays. In 2012, the orchestra renewed its commitment to serve all of Monterey County, not just the Monterey Peninsula.

Since 2012-13 music courses offered in Monterey County Public Schools has declined by more than 26 percent (California Department of Education Data Reporting Office). After-school music/enrichment programs are typically tuition-based and not accessible to low-income students. In the face of dwindling funding for the arts in our schools and rising concern about the inability of low-income students and their families to experience and create professional-quality, live music, in 2014, the Board of Trustees expanded its mission to focus on identifying, engaging, and educating the underserved youth of Monterey County.

In 2017, Monterey County Pops! is the only orchestra in Monterey County that provides a tuition-free, professional performance experience for disadvantaged students in their own communities. We do not impose a creative vision on our partner agencies, but work to enhance and expand programs already in place. Students don’t just perform on our stage; they rehearse and play in our professional orchestra.

And, all of our programs are FREE for both for the young performers and for audience members.

We have expanded our program from the Monterey Peninsula into Seaside, Salinas, and King City, and our audience has grown to approximately 6,700. Last year, more than 175 young, underserved performers created six professional-quality performances in collaboration with Monterey County Pops!

In short, Monterey County Pops! is living up to its mission “to be an orchestra dedicated to bringing pops and patriotic music performed by professional musicians to the families and visitors of Monterey County free of charge, and to strategically identify, engage, and educate underserved youth of Monterey County.”

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.chatterboxpr.com