Center For Dance sets holiday shows

New Orleans — The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission/New Orleans Ballet Association Center For Dance invites the community to two performances of The Nutcracker Suite at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 16 in Dixon Hall at Tulane University.

The production features participants of the Center For Dance’s programs for youth and senior citizens along with students of the association’s free, after school partnership programs with Wilson Charter School (and St. Jerome Church.

The Center For Dance, a cultural community partnership between the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and the New Orleans Ballet Association, offers year-round, free dance programming to ages 6 to 80 and older.

The Nutcracker Suite brings together more than 200 students and 20 senior citizens throughout the greater metropolitan area for the holiday classic. Each center is assigned a part, such as angels, mice, and soldiers. During the fall, students learn choreography from their instructors at each of the centers where they study. All the parts come together for the first time only the day before the performance, when the students begin production rehearsals in the studios at Tulane University.

Through the donations by Chevron, the production will feature new set pieces and costumes. “Arts inspire, celebrate diversity, stimulate economic growth, and fuel the social vitality of our communities,” said Chevron’s Warner Williams. “Chevron is committed to supporting local arts programs where we operate because a community with a thriving arts and culture is a great place to call home.”

Tickets to the performance are $5 per person and can be obtained by calling the association’s box office at 504-522-0996; in person at 935 Gravier St., suite 800, until 4:30 p.m. Dec. 14; or at the door one hour before show time.

In addition to the performance of The Nutcracker Suite, each after-school dance center will also host an open house for the community to celebrate the achievements of the young dancers. This fall, more than 400 students are receiving professional training tuition-free at partnership sites in Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard parishes.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council of New Orleans; a Community Arts Grant made possible through the City of New Orleans as administered by ACNO; and a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts.

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