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Press Releases

Nutcracker Production Premiered by LA Youth Ballet Stars Joffrey Ballet Principal Dancers and St. Mel School Children’s Choir

November 13, 2017 | By Libby Huebner

Los Angeles Youth Ballet presents the world premiere of a new production of The Nutcracker by award-winning choreographer Andrea Paris-Gutierrez starring Joffrey Ballet principal dancers Jeraldine Mendoza (Sugar Plum Fairy) and Dylan Gutierrez (Sugar Plum Fairy's Cavalier) in three performances, Friday, December 22, 7 pm, and Saturday, December 23, 2 pm and 7 pm, at Glendale’s Alex Theatre.  Adding to the rich compendium of this beloved holiday tradition, Paris-Gutierrez’s new youth-inspired version of the two-act ballet, featuring Tchaikovsky’s quintessential score, includes traditional influences as well as Paris-Gutierrez’s distinctive point of view as the Artistic Director of the lauded LA Youth Ballet and an experienced mentor of young dancers.  Darrion Sellman, a 13-year-old rising dance star who moved from Virginia to Los Angeles specifically to train with Paris-Gutierrez and LA Youth Ballet, is cast as the Nutcracker.  Annie Bernstein and Jana Teruel alternate in the role of Clara; Malcolm McLaurin Takumi and Marcel Ramirez alternate in the role of as Fritz, Clara’s brother.  Children and parents at the party, soldiers, Mouse King, mice, snowflakes, flowers and dolls are performed by the accomplished dancers of LA Youth Ballet.  St. Mel School Children’s Choir, led by Director Susie Penney, provides live vocals for the performances.


Mendoza and Gutierrez – who bring to their roles exceptional artistry and emotional depth – appear courtesy of Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet.  Mendoza is hailed for dancing that is “always masterfully-rendered” (California Review), and Gutierrez is lauded for his “powerful solos,” (Chicago Tribune).  LA Youth Ballet, the premier ensemble of the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, is an advanced pre-professional student ensemble for accomplished classical dancers ages 13-19.  Many of its alumni have garnered numerous awards and have gone on to professional careers with some of the world’s leading ballet companies and musical theatre productions around the country. 


Tickets start at $25 and are available through the Alex Theatre Box Office 818.243.2539 or visit  The Alex Theatre is located at 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale CA 91203 




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