Press Releases

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ rings in holiday season

Enduring tradition returns to capital region

Carlisle, Pa. (November 9, 2010)– Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) presents its annual holiday classic, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ on Dec. 11-12 and 18-19. One of the most revered theatrical ballets in the Company’s repertory, audiences will revel in the warmth of the season as casts of more than 141 dancers take them on a magical journey from Stahlbaum home to the Land of the Sweets.

“Mr. Balanchine managed to do 56 years ago what nobody has been able to do since,” comments CPYB Associate Artistic Director and Balanchine Trust Répétiteur Darla Hoover. “In his typical genius, Mr. B. matched superb choreography with the rich, melodic score of composer Tchaikovsky, creating a production that entertains theatre-goers ages four to ninety-four.”

Elaborate sets, costumes and intricate lighting unleash the viewers’ imagination as they travel with Marie through her dream-filled world of mice, soldiers, dancing snowflakes, a Sugar Plum Fairy and a celebration that takes them around the world in a single night.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is a rare treat as CPYB is honored as the only pre-professional school in the country licensed to perform this annual seasonal favorite.

“It was an incredible privilege to dance for Mr. Balanchine in this renowned production,” says Hoover. “As répétiteur, it’s a huge honor to ensure that his amazing work is danced with the style, musicality and clarity he insisted upon. The icing on the cake is to stage Mr. Balanchine’s original choreography at the school where I was trained!”

Maestro Stuart Malina, one of America’s most gifted conductors, returns to lead the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra’s live performance of Tchaikovsky’s music during the second weekend of CPYB’s performances at Hershey Theatre.

“I'm absolutely thrilled to once again be conducting the Nutcracker with CPYB,” comments Malina. “It's collaborations like these that make an arts community tick.  CPYB, like the Harrisburg Symphony, represents arts performance on the very highest level—and right here in Central PA!  We are very proud to be sharing the stage (or at least the pit!) with them.”

CPYB will perform the holiday favorite at two superb locations. Experience an intimate venue in the heart of downtown Harrisburg when George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is performed at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12 at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. Tickets range from $17-$43, and can be ordered by calling 717.214.ARTS or visiting

The production will be staged again at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 19 at the historic Hershey Theatre with live music. Tickets range from $28-$48, and can be purchased by calling 717.534.3405 or visiting

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™is made possible in part by production sponsor M&T Bank. CPYB is supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Cultural Enrichment Fund.


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
Established in 1955 by Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is a nationally and internationally recognized school of classical ballet headquartered in Carlisle, Pa. Now in its 55th year, CPYB’s mission is to inspire, educate and enrich the lives of the students and the region through training in and the performance of classical ballet.

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 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. Hoover now focuses 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, Hoover guest teaches all over the world. Working as a distinguished répétiteur, Hoover 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 andFearful Symmetries

Maestro Stuart Malina, Music Director Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
Malina is one of America’s most versatile and accomplished conductors. In a wide variety of concerts, from masterworks and grand opera to pops, Maestro Malina’s ease on the podium, engaging personality, and insightful interpretations have thrilled audiences and helped to break down the barriers between performer and listener wherever he has worked. Entering his 10th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Malina has also held appointments at the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (Music Director, 1996-2003), and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (Associate Conductor, 1993-97).