Mejia Ballet The Nutcracker

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Set to Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, The Nutcracker is, by far, the most widely attended ballet in America. The first American production of the ballet was staged in 1944 by the San Francisco Ballet. Ten years later, the late choreographer George Balanchine introduced his famous production of The Nutcracker at the New York City Ballet, a staging largely responsible for the ballet becoming part of the Christmas tradition in the United States.

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This production of The Nutcracker is choreographed and directed by the founder of Mejia Ballet International, Paul Mejia, a well-recognized name in ballet. Mejia is a former principal dancer under George Balanchine at New York City Ballet. He danced principal roles in many Balanchine ballets. Mejia’s production of The Nutcracker continues the holiday tradition of this popular ballet.

ARTS SAN ANTONIO Presents The Nutcracker Ballet Featuring a New Prima Ballerina!

For some, it is a timeless tradition, for others it is a new experience. Regardless, the spirit of the holidays comes alive in this delightful performance by the Mejia Ballet and the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet. It is a beautifully produced classic story for children and adults of all ages. The breathtaking and lively two-act ballet revolves around a young girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and an enchanting battle against a Mouse King.

This year, the Mejia Ballet will feature a new Prima Ballerina, the stunning, Natalia Magnicaballi. She is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. “I come from a very poor, working class family with absolutely no background in the arts. My dad was a factory worker and worked very, very hard seven days a week to put food on our table. Since an early age, I always had an interest in dance,” says Magnicaballi. She began taking ballet classes at the age of six with Russian instructors Wasil Turpin and his wife Mercedes Serrano. “They saw my talent and gave me a scholarship to study with them. When I was nine years old, I auditioned and got accepted into the most important ballet program in South America, The Colon Theatre Institute. The tuition is free for a few privileged students admitted every year, I auditioned with over 200, and I was fortunate to become one of seventeen that was accepted into the program. After succeeding at very vigorous exams, at the end of the eighth year, only four of us, out of the original seventeen graduated.” Magnicaballi spoke about the many obstacles that she had to overcome in her career, but gives credit for all of her success to her parents and husband. “To be a ballerina is not as easy as it sounds. It requires a lot of discipline physically and most important mentally,” she said. Natalia’s love for the stage and dance is deeply rooted in her. “The satisfaction I feel every time I dance in front of thousands of people- it’s magnificent! Hard to explain with words, actually.”

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Her career has allowed her to travel to many countries that she never imagined fathomable. She has performed in Egypt, Israel, Oman, Australia and China. Aside from performing, Natalia is also a ballet coach and teacher, which is something she says she loves to do as well. “To see my students succeed, dancing in professional companies around the country and on Broadway, is very rewarding to me. Amy goal has always been to give the best of me to others, always within the highest standards, both as a performing artist myself, as well as with all of the dancers I coach and as an instructor with all of my students.”

When discussing her role in The Nutcracker, Natalia says she feels honored to be apart of the production. “I admire Paul Mejia’s work so much. It is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the family. It’s also wonderful to experience the music of Tchaikovsky, the sets, and the costumes. The Nutcracker is a ballet where besides the professional dancers; you will find a lot of kids on stage as part of the production making it a great opportunity to introduce the little ones in the family to the arts.”

Natalia’s journey to become a Prima ballerina shows the trials and strength it takes for one to be successful. A blend of passion for the art and discipline combines in a result that is fruitful if you maintain the right mentality and balance. Her advice to those seeking to become a ballerina or ballerina like those seen in professional ballet productions is to, “never let any circumstance or any person discourage you from pursuing what you love to do! Always work hard, be disciplined, and be grateful. Remember that he hardest thing is not to become a ballerina/o, but to be one for many years to come- turning it into a lifetime career. In other words, it is not hard to get somewhere, as it is to stay on top of your game after you get there!”

The Nutcracker is produced by acclaimed choreographer, Paul Mejia. He began his training in 1958 at the School of American Ballet. His choreography and eye for creating classical performances are infused with rich moves that tell beautiful stories. The ballet is directed by Artistic Director Susan B. Connolly and Associate Director Karin L. Heiden, both with the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet.

Tricentennial Celebration

This performance is in celebration of San Antonio's Tricentennial anniversary. Celebrating Diversity and International Excellence

Ticket info

Tickets will be processed in August and mailed via First Class USPS unless there is five business days or less between your order and the performance date, in which case your tickets will be held for you at the theatre box office beginning two hours before your performance.

*Artists, productions and dates are subject to change

Seating assignments are completed by ARTS San Antonio ticketing staff on a first-come, first-served basis based on the time stamp when your order is received. All special instructions are taken into consideration for every ticket order. Premium seats start at $99 and are seated closest to the stage, followed by Superior at $69, Advantage at $49 and Value at $29.

ADA seating is available for all ARTS San Antonio performances at all venues and can be viewed on all seating charts. To reserve ADA seats, or for additional information please call 210-226-2891.

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