UPPER ST. CLAIR, Pa.- The Pittsburgh Youth Ballet Company's lavish annual production of "The Nutcracker" will be performed Dec. 4-6 at the Upper St. Clair Theater.
The production will be staged at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 4-5 and at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6 at 2:30 p.m. In addition, the CAPA Symphony Orchestra will accompany the youth ballet company at 7 p.m. Dec. 18-19 at the CAPA Theater, 911 Sixth St., with musical director David Knapp. Reserved seats are $15 to $25.
The production, which has been a holiday tradition for more than 25 years, also will feature two Weirton residents - Francesca Yazbek, daughter of Toni and David Yazbek of Weirton; and Isabella Mascio, daughter of Mark and Sherry Mascio.
Francesca Yazbek, back, daughter of Toni and David Yazbek of Weirton; and Isabella Mascio, daughter of Mark and Sherry Mascio, also of Weirton, are two of the featured performers in the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet’s presentation of “The Nutcracker,” scheduled for Dec. 4-6 at the Upper St. Clair Theater, Upper St. Clair, Pa.
This production has been enjoyed by generations of children as well seniors and adults. Group rates are available for Girl Scouts, Brownies and Daisy troops with badge opportunities, as well as senior citizens and other organizations.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has called the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet's production "a sugary assortment of characters in a remarkably sumptuous production," and the company "a hothouse of talent that is gaining a national reputation."
PYBC's traditional "The Nutcracker" production also has been named the "best bet" in Pittsburgh Magazine for December.
Pittsburgh Youth Ballet Company has performed "The Nutcracker" up and down the East Coast from New York to Florida. The company also has performed several works by invitation in Austria and Germany at the annual Tanzsommer Festival.
Artistic Director Jean Gedeon still teaches and has won numerous awards as best teacher from Dance Teacher Magazine and best director/teacher artist award from Chautauqua Institute. She secured the rights this past June from the prestigious George Balanchine Trust for the Company to perform "Serenade" and "Waltz of the Hours."
After 25 years, Gedeon remains a source of inspiration for her students.
She was quoted as saying "only the best will do, and I never give up on anyone" in Dance Magazine.
Many of the dancers that have performed in PYBC's "The Nutcracker" are now dancing professionally throughout the world. Amy Barker of Mount Lebanon, a PYBC dancer for nearly 12 years, recently received a company contract with New York City Ballet and will be joining her former PYBC classmates Faye Arthurs of Upper St. Clair, and Stephanie Zungre of Jefferson Hills, all performing New York City Ballet's at Lincoln Center.