Carmel, CA, March 24, 2018 — Now in its fifth year of touring Monterey County, Dance Kids of Monterey County will once again present performances of “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” in South County schools in November.
The annual holiday tradition in story and dance celebrates the rich culture of Mexico and countries south of the border. The idea of melding European music and music from Spanish-speaking countries to create a “Cascanueces” has brought together mariachi musicians, folkloric choreographers and local ballet dancers.
This year, 10 students each from elementary schools in San Ardo, San Lucas, Greenfield, and King City, will study a dance with two folkloric dancers and one musician for six weeks prior to the school performance. These students will then perform with the professional troupe in the assembly at their respective schools.
Ten mariachi musicians will perform Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece rewritten by Salinas-born Jalisco harpist, William Faulkner. The program includes the four divertissements from the second act and the much-loved “Sugar Plum Fairy” solo, performed by a Dance Kids' ballerina in a traditional tutu. Folkloric dancers perform four traditional, and very different, dance styles from four Mexican states. Together the program bridges cultures and fosters growth and understanding of diversity through the art of dance.
The November 2018 tour date of “Cascanueces” is reserved by South County schools early each school year in the anticipation of a colorful and educational assembly. The tour begins in San Ardo with performances in San Lucas, King City, Greenfield and Salinas.
At least two of the schools invite other schools to their assemblies, allowing Dance Kids to impact more than seven schools in one tour date. In November 2017, there were more than 1,500 audience members in elementary through high school in attendance. The day culminated in a performance at Hartnell College in Salinas to a standing-room-only, 250-seat music hall setting.
Dance Kids of Monterey County, founded in 1993, is a non-profit group with the objective of bringing the art of the dance and theater experience to all youngsters in Monterey County. In 25 years, the organization has produced more than 50 productions, including month-long summer theater intensives, traditional and full-length story ballets.
Dance Kids now supports an ongoing afterschool learning program in a Monterey Peninsula Unified School District location, in addition to its popular annual performances of “Nutcracker” at Carmel’s Sunset Cultural Center and “Cascanueces.”
The two directors/choreographers for “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker,” husband-and-wife team Maria Luisa Colmenarez and Rudy Garcia, were consultants on the Academy Award-nominated Pixar animated film “Coco.”
About Dance Kids
With over 24 years of production history, Dance Kids, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Carol Richmond, is proud of its wide range of theatrical experiences that support kids to flourish. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included “Nutcracker ”and original spring musicals. Dance Kids was known for fun-loving nostalgia surrounding the musicals and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theater. As it grew, its little venue could not handle the “Nutcracker” any longer, but continued as the venue for the spring productions, until those too outgrew the dance studio.
Dance Kids has grown Dance Kids’ “Nutcracker” into a spectacular production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. The Founder, Executive Director and the Board of Directors are proud to carry the traditions of dance and theater to the Monterey Peninsula.
Dance Kids of Monterey County was created to provide ongoing performance opportunities in dance the theater arts to the youth of Monterey County. Its mission is to strengthen character and positively influence children’s lives through the performing arts.
Sunset Center, Cottage #17
San Carlos Street at 10th Ave.,
P.O. Box 6225
Carmel, CA 93921
Phone: (831) 622-9008
Fax: (831) 218-1293
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901