A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Jeraldine Mendoza (Sugar Plum Fairy) and Dylan Gutierrez (Sugar Plum Fairy's Cavalier) will perform in LA Youth Ballet’s "The Nutcracker." / Photo by Herbert Migdoll

Los Angeles Youth Ballet presents the world premiere of a new production of The Nutcracker by award-winning choreographer Andrea Paris-Gutierrez starring Joffrey Ballet principal dancers Jeraldine Mendoza (Sugar Plum Fairy) and Dylan Gutierrez (Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cavalier) in three performances: Friday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 23, at 2 and 7 p.m. at Glendale’s Alex Theatre.

Adding to the rich compendium of this beloved holiday tradition, Paris-Gutierrez’s new youth-inspired version of the two-act ballet, featuring Tchaikovsky’s quintessential score, includes traditional influences as well as Paris-Gutierrez’s distinctive point of view as the artistic director of the lauded LA Youth Ballet and an experienced mentor of young dancers.

Darrion Sellman, a 13-year-old rising dance star who moved from Virginia to Los Angeles specifically to train with Paris-Gutierrez and LA Youth Ballet, is cast as the Nutcracker. St. Mel School Children’s Choir, led by Director Susie Penney, provides live vocals for the performances.

LA Youth Ballet, the premier ensemble of the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, is an advanced pre-professional student ensemble for accomplished classical dancers ages 13-19. Many of its alumni have garnered numerous awards and have gone on to professional careers with some of the world’s leading ballet companies and musical theater productions around the country.

LOCATION: Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale 91203

TICKETS/INFORMATION: Tickets start at $25.

(818) 243 2539