The Nutcracker & Gala Reception at the Firehouse Center
Long a traditional favorite, Methuen Ballet Ensemble brings the holiday classic, "The Nutcracker" to Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, Massachusetts just in time to kick off your holiday season! Join the cast for a gala* reception which will be held in the upper lobby at 6PM on November 29th prior to the 7PM show!
Methuen Ballet Ensemble, an established ballet company under the artistic direction of Vanessa Voter Shaheen, has staged “The Nutcracker” for over twenty-five years. All principal roles are performed by members of Methuen Ballet Ensemble, whose experience totals over 150 years of classical ballet training under Ms. Shaheen’s tutelage! Students of Voter’s School of Dance and North Shore Performing Arts Center perform all other roles. Dancers hail from Methuen, Lawrence, Haverhill, N. Andover, Georgetown, Groveland, Boxford, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, and West Newbury, MA, as well as Salem, Pelham, Plaistow, Windham, and Manchester, NH.
Each year, the production has become more elaborate with stunning visual effects and custom-designed costumes by a well-known Canadian designer. All performances include a giant growing Christmas tree, a heavenly mist**, and an abundance of snowfall.
History of the Methuen Ballet Ensemble:
Vanessa Rae Voter founded Methuen Ballet Ensemble in 1989 as a platform for promising students to showcase their talents, performing both classical and modern ballets for the public. Her inspiration came from her years as a dancer with Boston Ballet. During the audition process for “The Nutcracker”, those children not cast in roles touched her, by their disappointment and tears. She vowed that someday she would have a company of her own, where every child who auditioned would be guaranteed a part. She realized her dream and has been successfully staging “The Nutcracker” for eighteen years, never having rejected an auditioning dancer.
Vanessa Rae Voter - Biography:
Vanessa Rae Voter is Artistic Director and Choreographer for Methuen Ballet Ensemble, a semi-professional ballet company. She is also Director of the Classical Ballet program at Voter’s School of Dance, founded by her mother, Pam Voter, in 1951.
Ms. Voter attended The Boston Conservatory. In addition to dancing with Boston Ballet, she also performed with Ballet Dance Theatre of Boston. Her extensive training includes instruction from Marina Svetlova, Madame Sulamith Messerer (former Prima Ballerina and teacher with the Bolshoi Ballet), E. Virginia Williams, Violet Verdi, Robert Pierce, and David Howard. She has been a guest teacher for Dance Teachers Club of Boston and Dance Teachers Club of Brockton, as well as serving on judge’s panels in both Boston and Brockton. She is a member of Dance Teachers Club of Boston and National Council of America.
In addition to teaching classical ballet on a full-time basis, Ms. Voter has also choreographed all ballets performed by Methuen Ballet Ensemble. Included in her portfolio are: Swan Lake, Peter and the Wolf, Peter Pan, Snow White, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, The Fisherman & The Maiden, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Coppellia, The Magic Flute, Petrushka, La Petite Fantastique, and The Nutcracker.
*Note: The Gala is only open to those who hold tickets to the 7PM show.
**No chemicals will be used during this production. The mist effect will be achieved with the lighting design.