North Country Ballet Ensemble
Press Release

For Immediate Release: North Country Ballet Ensemble
Contact:  Alice Schonbek, Artistic Director @

North Country Ballet Ensemble’s Nutcracker at 31!

In its 31st season, the North Country Ballet Ensemble’s Nutcracker will entertain audiences with new choreography and sparkling new costumes. Guest and Resident Choreographers have fashioned a Nutcracker sure to delight even veteran audience members. This year, there are changes to Party Scene, Battle Scene, Solo Angel and the Chinese Variation, and New York City Costume Designer Anna-Alisa Belous, has designed new Candy Cane costumes.

Alice Schonbek, in her fifth season as Artistic Director, has commissioned significant makeovers of key aspects of the Nutcracker. Affiliate choreographer, Rebecca Kelly of New York City, continues her 17-year relationship with the NCBE. In addition to Rebecca Kelly, the NCBE artistic staff includes Resident Choreographer, Terpsie Toon, in her 7th year, Michela Boschetto of New York City, 9-year veteran, along with Natalia Balina-Zborowska. Also noteworthy this year is the unmatched extent of community participation and support, with a cast of 55 local student dancers, and 15 community members to entertain audiences.

Outstanding New York City professional dancers will be joining them for the 31st season. Therese Wendler, principal dancer with Rebecca Kelly Ballet and Dances Patrelle. Therese, a former principal dancer with Connecticut Ballet, will dance the role of Sugar Plum Fairy. Mikhail Ilyin, will perform in the role of Cavalier. Ilyin, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, received his training at the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy before moving to the United States in 1999. Mikhail has danced as soloist and principal dancer with Boston Ballet, Miami City ballet and American Ballet Theater.

Sophie Locke of Lake Placid will dance the role of Claire, while Harrison Matthews from Peru will perform as Fritz. We welcome back the charismatic and ever entertaining Jason Borrie as Uncle Drosselmeyer, as well as Karen Courtland Kelly as the Nutcracker. The NCBE graduates two seniors this season, Elodie Linck and Lucy Mc Sweeney. Linck will dance in the ensemble of the Snow Scene, as Spanish Soloist, corps member in the Arabian Variation, and as the Dew Drop in Waltz of the Flowers. Fellow senior McSweeney will perform as a Maid in the Party scene, as a member of the Snow Scene ensemble, as Spanish Soloist, in the Arabian Variation, and as a corps member in Waltz of the Flowers.

Erika Guay, of the SUNY Plattsburgh Theater Department, will provide the lighting design. Look for new special effects in the Angel scene. Once again, the show’s visual appeal will be enhanced by a variety of set features, designed and produced by dedicated community members.

The Nutcracker will be performed in Plattsburgh on Friday, November 25th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, November 26th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 27th at 2:00 p.m., at the Hartman Theater, Myers Fine Arts Building, SUNY Plattsburgh. All categories of tickets are on sale at The Party Factory (518) 561-6001, and one hour prior to each Plattsburgh performance on site at Hartman Theatre. Ticket prices are General seating: $12 children (12 and under) and seniors; $17 adult; Reserved seating: $15 children (ages 12 and under) and seniors; $20 adults. For group sales, please call (518) 572-1224. Please visit for information about the NCBE. Lake Placid Performances take place at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts located at 17 Algonquin Drive in Lake Placid on December 3rd at 1p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and December 4th at 1p.m.  Ticket prices are $15 children (ages12 and under); $20 adults. For reservations or ticket information, please call the LPCA at (518) 523-2512 or visit