Per­for­mance of Nut­cracker slated at Maple Av­enue Mid­dle School

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Sarato­gian staff

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> The Lewis A. Swyer School of the Arts at the Na­tional Mu­seum of Dance will present its first full pro­duc­tion of the bal­let clas­sic The Nut­cracker, fea­tur­ing 80 tal­ented dancers ages 6-18, with spe­cial guests alum­nus Sam Ep­stein, Wil­liam Otto, Damon Hon­ey­cutt, and Leanne Sweet per­form­ing.

Per­for­mances are sched­uled for Satur­day, Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m. and Sun­day, Dec. 22 at 1 p.m. at Maple Av­enue Mid­dle School’s Tromb­ley Au­di­to­rium.

Ep­stein grew up in Saratoga Springs, and trained at the School of the Arts at the Na­tional Mu­seum of Dance, the New York State Sum­mer School of the Arts School of Bal­let, Bal­let Academy East, Bos­ton Bal­let School, Amer­i­can Bal­let The­atre, and Chau­tauqua In­sti­tu­tion.

He is cur­rently pur­su­ing a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Bal­let Per­for­mance, with an out­side field in chore­og­ra­phy at In­di­ana Univer­sity Bloom­ing­ton Re­cently, he has per­formed fea­ture roles in works by Ge­orge Balan­chine, Jean Pierre Bon­nefoux, Chris­tian Claessens, Mark Di­a­mond, Sasha Janes, Mark Mor­ris, Jerome Rob­bins, Twyla Twarp, Michale Ver­non, Christo­pher Wheel­don, and Sarah Wroth.

Hon­ey­cutt is a trans­dis­ci­plinary artist whose work in­volves the co­he­sion and evo­lu­tion­ary preser­va­tion of tra­di­tion. He has been ac­cepted to SUNY Stony­brook in their Ph.D. Mu­sic com­po­si­tion pro­gram.

He also holds an MFA in Mu­sic Com­po­si­tion at The Ver­mont Col­lege of Fine Arts. MA in Con­scious Evo­lu­tion and In­te­gral Stud­ies from The Grad­u­ate Institute and a BFA from Cal­i­for­nia Institute of the Arts where he stud­ied full time in both the mu­sic and dance de­part­ments.

Hon­ey­cutt has worked with The Power String Quar­tet, Pilobo­lus, The Ur­ban Roots Project, Bei­jing Opera Com­pany Yuan, Deb­o­rah Goffe and Scape­goat Gar­den Dance Com­pany, among many oth­ers.

Otto is a dancer, chore­og­ra­pher, and ac­tor. A na­tive of Westch­ester County, New York, Wil­liam trained at the School of Amer­i­can Bal­let and is a grad­u­ate of the North Carolina School of the Arts. He danced with New York City Bal­let for twelve years be­fore his re­tire­ment in 1995. He sub­se­quently per­formed in The Phan­tom of the Opera on Broad­way and with its na­tional tour­ing com­pany, and has var­i­ous film and tele­vi­sion cred­its.

Since mov­ing to the Cap­i­tal Dis­trict in 2002, Otto has taught bal­let at the Al­bany Dance Institute and Saratoga City Bal­let, and has per­formed char­ac­ter roles with nu­mer­ous re­gional bal­let com­pa­nies. He most re­cently served as de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor at the Charles R. Wood The­ater in Glens Falls. Wil­liam joined the School of the Arts fac­ulty in 2017.

Sweet has been teach­ing bal­let in the re­gion since 1976 in­clud­ing ten years at the New School of Bal­let in Sch­enec­tady, fif­teen years at Bal­let Re­gent in Saratoga Springs un­der the di­rec­tor of Michael Steele and Tomi Vukovic, and four years at Saratoga City Bal­let.

She re­ceived her early dance train­ing in Sch­enec­tady and was ac­cepted at both the School of Amer­i­can Bal­let and The Juil­liard School. She stud­ied with Felia Dubrovska of the School of Amer­i­can Bal­let and with Robert Jof­frey. Leanne ma­jored in Dance at Adel­phi Col­lege. She per­formed with Sch­enec­tady Civic Bal­let and Tri City Bal­let Guild. Leanne joined the School of the Arts fac­ulty in 2010.

All ticket pro­ceeds di­rectly sup­port the Lewis A. Swyer School of the Arts, a 501(c) (3) non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion. Tick­ets for sale at eventbrite.com.

SU­SAN BLACK­BURN PHOTO

The Lewis A. Swyer School of the Arts at the Na­tional Mu­seum of Dance will present its first full pro­duc­tion of the bal­let clas­sic The Nut­cracker, fea­tur­ing 80 tal­ented dancers ages 6- 18 years old, with spe­cial guests alum­nus Sam Ep­stein, Wil­liam Otto, Damon Hon­ey­cutt, and Leanne Sweet per­form­ing.

SU­SAN BLACK­BURN PHOTO

The Lewis A. Swyer School of the Arts at the Na­tional Mu­seum of Dance will present its first full pro­duc­tion of the bal­let clas­sic The Nut­cracker, fea­tur­ing 80 tal­ented dancers ages 6- 18 years old, with spe­cial guests alum­nus Sam Ep­stein, Wil­liam Otto, Damon Hon­ey­cutt, and Leanne Sweet per­form­ing.

SU­SAN BLACK­BURN PHOTO

All ticket pro­ceeds di­rectly sup­port the Lewis A. Swyer School of the Arts, a 501(c) (3) non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion. Tick­ets for sale at eventbrite.com.

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