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Mystic Ballet and Foxwoods strike ‘Nutcracker’ deal

By Kristina Dorsey

Publication: The Day

Published April 17. 2013 4:00AM

Mystic Ballet has signed a three-year contract with Foxwoods to stage "The Nutcracker" at the Fox Theater, says Mystic Ballet Artistic Director Goran Subotic.

Mystic Ballet has been performing a "Mystic Nutcracker" for the past decade at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum Auditorium. The company will keep the backbone of what it has been doing but expand upon it, according to Subotic.

He says that since the Fox Theater is a larger space, they "have the possibility to stage something glamorous."

He declined to say what the financial arrangement is in Mystic Ballet's contract with Foxwoods.

Monique Sebastian, executive director of entertainment at Foxwoods Resort Casino, was not available for comment Tuesday.

This won't be the first "Nutcracker" linked to Foxwoods. In 1996, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe invested $500,000 in the Hartford Ballet's Americanized version of "The Nutcracker" to be staged at, among other venues, the Fox Theater. But Hartford Ballet Artistic Director Kirk Peterson was fired in 1998 and the company itself folded in 1999.

As for Mystic Ballet's "Nutcracker" at Foxwoods, Subotic says the plan is to expand the production into something more elaborate. He says that might mean the addition of singers, aerial acts and magicians. Creative details have yet to be determined.

Subotic says that Mystic Ballet will bring in three choreographers, chosen from more than 70 who have auditioned.

Since the production will be bigger, so will the cast. It will jump from 10 to 16 dancers.

In addition, Subotic wants to involve Mystic Ballet's junior company, and he is holding auditions for young dancers from around the region. Ultimately, the show will feature more than 100 people.

The show will be performed in the 1,400-seat Fox Theater, and, if demand warrants, it might be moved in later years to the 4,000-seat MGM Grand at Foxwoods Theater.

The six performances at Fox Theater would be the only performances of Mystic Ballet's "Nutcracker" in the region.

The addition of a Foxwoods "Nutcracker" puts it in direct competition with the Albano Ballet Company's "Nutcracker" staged at Mohegan Sun Arena.

In addition, Eastern Connecticut Ballet performs its "Nutcracker" at the Garde Arts Center.

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