Donetsk Ballet celebrates 20 years of Nutcracker in Philadelphia, Dec 16-17

Celebrating over 20 years of collaboration, International Ballet Exchange presents the Donestk Ballet in performances at Plymouth/Whitemarsh High School on December 16th and 17th.

Since 1989, the Donetsk Ballet has toured the world: Italy, Spain, Norway, France, China, Japan, and cities throughout the United States.  In 1991 the company spent nearly one year in Philadelphia while their theater in Donetsk was being renovated.  While here, the Soviet Union fell apart, leaving them not only without their theater but without a country. Since that time, the company has reinvented itself and their theater has been beautifully renovated. Their Principal dancer, Vadim Pisarev, was promoted to Artistic Director and a ballet school was created in his name.  Having established strong ties with IBE’s Executive Director, their relationship lead them to an annual invitation to perform and teach in Philadelphia, bringing their exceptional skills to our community.

Performing Peter Tchaikovsky’s famous, fairy-tale ballet, The Nutcracker, the talent of the dancers mingles with the delightful story of an unforgettable experience for audiences young and old. Internationally renowned principal dancer, Irina Komarenko will be dancing the lead role for the company. She was a finalist in the 1998 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson and in 2000 she received an award for being the best non-competing partner at Varna’s International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria. Taking the parts as the children in the production are 50 local ballet students, two of whom have won the coveted roles of Clara and Fritz, the children in the story whose lives are touched by a magical nutcracker.

The two performances, 6:30 pm on Saturday, December 16 and 2 pm on Sunday, December 17, will be presented at Plymouth/Whitemarsh High School, located at 201 East Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.  Ticket prices are $20 for children, students and seniors and $30 for adults. For online ticket sales go to  Tickets can also be purchased at the door. For information, call 215-849-7950 or 1-800-849-4919. Group rates are available.

The performances are sponsored by the International Ballet Exchange (IBE). IBE is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high-quality ballet education, performance opportunities, and cross-cultural exposure to young aspiring ballet dancers. IBE will also present The Nutcracker at reduced rates for school children throughout the city at George Washington High School Thursday, December 14th, at 10:00 AM.

This project is supported by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, through its regional arts funding partnership, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA). State government funding comes through an annual appropriation by Pennsylvania’s General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. PPA is administered locally by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.