Sarah Jessica Parker and Ballet Star Damian Woetzel to Co-Host Ovation’s ‘Battle of the Nutcrackers: Dance Off’
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Ovation will be kicking off their annual holiday programming event, “Battle of the Nutcrackers,” with the help of two stars who know a thing or two about ballet — Sarah Jessica Parker and Damian Woetzel. Ms. Parker, award-winning actress of television, stage and screen, who trained in classical ballet, sits on the Board of the NY City Ballet, and Mr. Woetzel, international ballet star, is the former senior principal dancer for the New York City Ballet.
This year’s programming event — “Battle of the Nutcrackers: Dance Off” — debuts Monday, December 6 with the US Television Premiere of the Royal Opera House: The Nutcracker at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Each night, Ovation will feature a different production of the beloved ballet and viewers will be invited to vote for their favorite rendition online at www.ovationtv.com. The Viewers’ Choice will be revealed on Christmas Eve. A marathon of all the Nutcracker productions will air all day on Christmas Day.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Damian Woetzel will introduce all of the productions and provide insight and commentary about the ballet companies, the dancers and the tradition of the Nutcracker.
“Dance has been a lifelong passion of mine, and The Nutcracker is a beautiful and iconic ballet that is enjoyed by people of all ages and cultures,” comments Sarah Jessica Parker. “Damian and I are excited to share our love of this art form and celebrate both the world of ballet and the holiday season with Ovation viewers.”
“The Nutcracker has been an important part of my life ever since I first appeared onstage in the ballet as a seven year old in Boston,” commented Damian Woetzel. “As a holiday tradition, the Nutcracker has likely introduced more people to the thrilling art of ballet than any other, and Ovation extends that most valuable and entertaining introduction every year through their wonderful Battle of the Nutcrackers. As hosts of the event, we hope to connect viewers to these performances like never before.”
Program highlights of “The Battle of the Nutcrackers: Dance Off” include:
- Royal Opera House: The Nutcracker (Available in High Definition) – US PREMIERE: Monday, December 6 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Repeats Tuesday, December 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. The Royal Ballet, the resident ballet company of the Royal Opera House in London, was founded in 1931 and is an internationally renowned classical ballet company. In this very traditional production, filmed in HD in 2009, the role of Clara is played by the brilliant Romanian ballerina Alina Cojocaru.
- Casse Noisette Circus: Ballet of Monte Carlo — Tuesday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Repeats Thursday, December 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Casse Noisette Circus delivers a modern version of The Nutcracker that combines circus concepts with modern dance. The end result is filled with dizzying pirouettes, elaborate trapeze work, and intricate acrobatics. Ballet of Monte Carlo features an elaborate stage complete with hydraulic platforms, alluring lights and a cast that sizzles.
- The Nutcracker: Berlin State Opera Ballet — US PREMIERE: Wednesday, December 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT and Sunday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT. Patrice Bart’s version of the classic Nutcracker tale is overflowing with dramatic twists and turns. The Berlin State Opera Ballet fills this production with vigor and the most graceful of dance movements.
- Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker – Thursday, December 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Repeats Wednesday, December 22 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. This classic presentation of The Nutcracker comes to life through the sophisticated choreography of Yuri Grigorovich, who has danced and choreographed with Bolshoi for decades. Natalya Arkhipov stars as Clara, and Aleksandr Kopilov conducts The Bolshoi Theater Orchestra in this elegant take on the traditional tale.
- Maurice Bejart’s Nutcracker — Friday, December 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Repeats Monday, December 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. A radically innovative reimagining of The Nutcracker, this staging by acclaimed choreographer Maurice Bejart departs from the traditional story in virtually everything but the music. And even the score is adjusted to include French popular music, which is performed onstage by accordion legend Yvette Homer. Bejart, who died right before Christmas last year, uses the Nutcracker as a vehicle to explore his personal story.
The Nutcracker began as a story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, written in 1816 by E. T. A. Hoffmann in which young Clara Stahlbaum’s favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls. In 1892, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov turned the story’s adapted version into the ballet The Nutcracker, and is today, one of the most popular ballets in the world.
Ovation is the only multi-platform network devoted to art contemporary culture. The network creates and curates one-of-a-kind programming about all the art people enjoy most, from the popular to the avant-garde and everything in between. The channel reaches a national audience of 43 million households through carriage on cable systems, DirecTV (channel 274), Dish Network (channel 157) and telco systems nationally. Ovation’s programming is also available on video on demand (in both standard and high definition) in the US. Ovation’s popular website (http:// www.OvationTV.com) is a dynamic experience, featuring information about local and national happenings in the art world, as well as a vibrant community of artists who have uploaded over 150,000 pieces of original art.
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