Daily Record: “‘Nutcracker’ Comes to Life Again at MPAC”

December 14 2018

Read the Daily Record’s feature story on the New Jersey Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, as well as their performances at MPAC now through Thursday, December 27th!


Daily Record: “‘Nutcracker’ Comes to Life Again at MPAC”

By Bill Nutt

“The Nutcracker” is a story of dreams that come magically alive. That sentiment applies as much to the dancers who perform the ballet as to the audiences who embrace it as a holiday classic.

Gabriella Noa can attest to the power of the story (based on a fairy tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann) and the timeless music by Tchaikovsky.

Noa was only 8 years old in 1989 when she saw the New Jersey Ballet production of “The Nutcracker,” but it was a transformative moment. “I know that was what I wanted to do,” she said.

Young Gabriella enrolled in the company’s ballet school, and at age 11, she danced the role of Clara, the girl who receives the gift of an enchanted nutcracker doll that leads her on an adventure. “Clara is the glue that holds that the story together,” said Noa.

Noa continues to dance with NJ Ballet and will appear in the company’s annual production at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, which runs Dec. 14 to 27.

Furthermore, Noa is making a mark on the next generation of dancers.

“I get to coach the Claras,” she said. “That’s my way of giving back.”

This year marks the 48th season of the NJ Ballet’s presentation of “The Nutcracker.”

“That’s a testimony to the strength of our production,” said Paul McRae, assistant artistic director of the company.

Noa agreed. “It’s a beautiful production,” she said. “Our choreography is top-notch.  I would compare it with any other company’s ‘Nutcracker.’  It tells the story in a traditional way, and that’s important.”

The performances at Mayo PAC are also noteworthy for the live accompaniment by an ensemble from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Noa indicated that live music gives the dancers even more incentive to perform at the best.

“You hear the musicians warming up, and it sends energy that just radiates from the pit to the stage,” said Noa. “There’s nothing like dancing to live music.”

The Nutcracker

When: Dec. 14 to 27:  7:30 p.m. Fridays; 1 and 6 p.m. Saturdays; 1 and 6 p.m. Sundays (1 p.m. only on Dec. 24 and 27).

Where: Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South St., Morristown 

Tickets: $29 to $69

Info:  973-539-8008 or mayoarts

Our Mission

Mayo Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey.

MPAC is grateful to the following donors whose major support helps to sustain the general operating needs of our organization:

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