What’s new for the 2017 Nutcracker Season!

The retirement of Founding Director Beth Marks led Artistic Directors Dulce Anaya, Debra Rankin and Mark Spivak on a search for new choreographers to help continue this wonderful holiday tradition which began in 1992. The Board of Directors and Artistic Directors of Community Nutcracker, Inc. are pleased to welcome Ms Heather Stevenson Loveland of Heather Loveland Dance Academy and Ms. Suzanne Saltmarsh of Saltmarsh Dance of Jacksonville as guest choreographers for the 2017 Season. We are so excited to work with Ms. Loveland and Ms. Saltmarsh this year.

Ms. Heather Loveland began studying dance with Beth Marks at Ballet Arts Centre. She is a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. After returning from Ricks College, Ms. Loveland began teaching at Ballet Arts Centre, rising to the position of Assistant Director. She is a member of Dance Masters of America and is certified in ballet and jazz. In 2014, she opened her own studio in St Johns County, Heather Loveland Dance Academy. Ms. Loveland has a long history with Community Nutcracker, having performed in Community Nutcracker's Nutcracker Ballet and served on the Board as Production Chair and Programme Chair. The roles of Angels, Cherubs, Sprites and Pages will be choreographed by Ms. Loveland. 

Ms. Suzanne Saltmarsh earned a BFA from Florida State University and an MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University. She has performed with many dance companies including the Martha Graham Dance Company and San Francisco Opera Ballet. She has also taught at Douglas Anderson SOTA, La Villa, San Francisco SOTA, Martha Graham School, Marin Ballet and many others over the last 27 years. Ms. Saltmarsh also choreographed for Martha Graham School, Marin Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theater, San Francisco SOTA, among many others. Ms. Saltmarsh will be choreographing the Arabian Variation. 

Ms. Debra Rankin will choreograph the Battle Scene in addition to the Party Scene. Ms. Dulce Anaya will choreograph Chinese, Merlitons and Waltz of the Flowers. Mr. Mark Spivak will choreograph Snow, Russian, Spanish and Mother Ginger and the bon-bons.

Community Nutcracker is also welcoming new guest artists, Yinet Fernandez and Jorge Villirani. Jorge Andrés Villarini, originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, is currently a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem. He received a BFA in Dance with a concentration in Ballet from Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan. During his time at Marymount, Jorge was the first recipient of the Lisa Tachick-Hooper Scholarship as well as a full scholarship to train at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. Jorge has also studied under full scholarship in numerous summer intensives including The Ailey School, Orlando Ballet School, The School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre Collegiate Program. Prior to arriving at DTH, Jorge has worked with numerous companies, including the Martha Graham Dance Company and BalletMet Columbus.

Yinet Fernandez was born in Havana, Cuba and began her ballet training at the age of 9 in the Provincial School of Arts. She continued her ballet training at the Cuban National Ballet School (Escuela Nacional Cubana de Ballet). Upon her graduation, Ms. Fernandez was accepted as a member of the Cuban National Ballet (Ballet Nacional de Cuba) where she danced numerous roles during her years there. Ms. Fernandez came to the U.S. where she danced with Brooklyn Ballet and the Connecticut Ballet. She currently dances with Dance Theatre of Harlem.

We can wait for you to see the new developments in our production for 2017!