Press Releases

Bringing the Holidays Home!
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ creates unforgettable spark

Carlisle, Pa. (October 9, 2013)George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ has all the makings of a great family experience: traditions, dreams and the gift of generosity. The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet brings the beloved holiday classic home to the intimate Whitaker Center on Dec. 14-15 and with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra at the Hershey Theatre on Dec 21-22.

Although its origins are strictly European,Time magazine calls the Nutcracker “a decidedly American phenomenon.” For Southcentral PA, CPYB’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ has become part of the tradition that shapes the year-end holiday season. Returning fans bask in the warmth of a festive party and the thrill of a Christmas tree growing huge before our eyes, rekindling fond memories of holidays past. For the first-time viewer it’s a wish to create a new family custom as the magic of ‘The Nutcracker’ ushers in the season. Scores of little girls in pretty dresses dream of being a ballerina or a princess (or both) gliding across the stage with her handsome Cavalier. The sound of clanging swords stir a young boy’s imagination as he believes that he, too, can defeat a fearsome three-headed Mouse King, thereby saving the day!

Under the direction of Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary, CPYB is the only classical ballet school in the world licensed by The George Balanchine Trust to perform what the New York Times calls “the ‘Nutcracker’ of all ‘Nutcrackers’ – the one to keep returning to.”

“What makes Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’ so special? It’s the children!” said Miss Weary. “Children liven up our holiday. And, from Fritz’s antics in the first scene to marching toy soldiers, a breathtaking snowfall and a journey into an enchanted land full of scrumptious treats, a Sugarplum Fairy and her dashing Cavalier, these young people make magic!”

Distinguished Balanchine Trust Répétiteur and CPYB Associate Artistic Director Darla Hoover oversees the production, which was originally created for the New York City Ballet in 1954. Ms. Hoover is an alumna of both New York City Ballet and CPYB who danced for the Russian-born choreographer. She works throughout the world staging works for The George Balanchine Trust and for Peter Martins, Ballet Master-in-Chief of New York City Ballet.

Tony-award winning conductor Stuart Malina returns to lead the HSO live performances of Tchaikovsky’s richly textured and familiar score at the Hershey Theatre performances.

CPYB’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is supported, in part, by Giant Food Stores, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Cultural Enrichment Fund.

Ticket Information:
CPYB will perform the holiday favorite at two superb locations. Experience an intimate venue in the heart of downtown Harrisburg.

Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, December 14
2 p.m. Sunday, December 15
Tickets range from $21-$44
717.214.ARTS (2787) or visit

The production will be staged again with Maestro Stuart Malina conducting the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.

Hershey Theatre
1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, December 21
2 p.m. Sunday, December 22
Tickets range $26-$49
717.534.3405 or visit


MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: We invite the media to attend upcoming rehearsals and speak with the performers and staff about the performance. For more information, please contact Bonnie Schulte at 717.245.1191 or Coverage opportunities of performances are also available and must be set up through Bonnie Schulte.


About Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is a celebrated leader in the world of classical ballet. Embracing an attitude of lifelong learning more than 58 years ago, Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary envisioned a school where children would have the opportunity to receive exceptional ballet training. Today CPYB is the nation’s preeminent school of classical ballet with an international reputation for training young men and women. The school’s renowned teaching methodology couples performance opportunities with innovative educational initiatives, an esteemed faculty, and a proven syllabus – all in an environment that promotes the acquisition of the life skills crucial to a child’s development.

Thousands of young people have passed through Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s esteemed studios. CPYB alumni continually occupy top positions in the leading ballet companies from San Francisco and Miami to New York, London and beyond. Through the organization’s threefold mission – to inspire, educate and enrich – the legacy of Marcia Dale Weary and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet redefines the art form, preserves its history and shapes its future.

Darla Hoover, Associate Artistic Director and Balanchine Trust Répétiteur
Ms. Hoover was trained at the renowned Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary and completed her studies on a full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. In 1980, after choreographing a solo for her in the New York City Opera production of Bourgeois Gentilhomme, George Balanchine invited Ms. Hoover to become a member of his New York City Ballet. From 1980-1991, she appeared as a featured soloist in ballets such as Balanchine’s La Valse, Chaconne, Harlequinade, Ballo della Regina, as well as Peter Martins’ Eight Easy Pieces, Rossini Quartets, Sonata di Scarlatti, and Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare. Ms. Hoover now gives her attention to teaching and staging ballets. In addition to her positions as the Associate Artistic Director of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Associate Artistic Director of Ballet Academy East’s graded children’s program in Manhattan, Ms. Hoover guest teaches all over the world. Working as a distinguished répétiteur, she stages works for The George Balanchine Trust and for Peter Martins, Ballet Master-in-Chief of the New York City Ballet. Recent stagings have included George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,™ Raymonda Variations, Serenade, Divertimento #15, Valse-Fantaisie, Allegro Brillante, Stars and Stripes, andRubies as well as Peter Martins’ Eight Easy Pieces and Fearful Symmetries.

Maestro Stuart Malina, Music Director Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
Now in his 14th season as music director and conductor of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Stuart Malina has earned a reputation for orchestra building and multi-faceted versatility. His engaging personality and insightful interpretations have thrilled audiences and helped to break down barriers between performer and listener wherever he has worked. Maestro Malina was previously music director of the Greensboro Symphony (1996-2003), and associate conductor of the Charleston Symphony (1993-97).

During the 2012-13 season Stuart Malina assumed the position of principal guest and coffee series conductor with the Florida Orchestra in Tampa Bay. Later this season he will also direct concerts at Indiana University’s Conservatory of Music. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in February 2007, conducting the New York Pops in an all-Gershwin tribute. He was immediately invited to return to Carnegie and the Pops in October 2007. In June 2003, he won the TONY award for orchestration with Billy Joel for the hit musical Movin’ Out, which Malina helped create with director/choreographer Twyla Tharp. In 2009, Pennsylvania Public Television awarded Maestro Malina with the Joanne Rogers Award for contribution to the artistic life of Pennsylvania, and in 2010 he was given the Jump Street Spectrum Award for excellence in the arts.

Maestro Malina holds degrees from Harvard University, the Yale School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller.

GB The Nutcracker _Press Release.pdf