Dreams of sugar plum fairies return to Marat’s ‘Nutcracker’

| October 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

SCHOOL FOUNDER Marat Daukayev with Grace Tankenson, 14.

Little girl dreams of sugar plum fairies and waltzing snowflakes will come alive this holiday season when, after a long two-year wait, Marat Daukayev will present his magic of the holiday season on a professional stage.

The school’s ballet students — many live in our neighborhoods — will leap and twirl in four performances of “The Nutcracker” on Sat., Dec 10, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sun., Dec 11, at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The performances will be at Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State Los Angeles, 5151 State University Dr., just east of downtown.

Grace Tankenson, 14, who lives in Windsor Square, is among the students in this year’s production.

“She will be dancing Snow Queen and Dew Drop this year,” Pamela Daukayev told us.

EMMA DAUKAYEV, left, and two angels in center: Vivian Wersinger, left, and right, Reece Armstrong-Clossey.

Tankenson began at the ballet school in 2011 when she was 3 years old.  “Her older sister, Amelia, also attended our school.  Amelia is doing an internship with us now, and I am writing her college recommendation letter.  It all goes by in the blink of an eye!”

Pamela’s daughter, Emma Daukayev, who grew up in the Windsor Square family home on Van Ness, is now at the University of Michigan, Pamela adds.

The 110 performers in this year’s production — the school’s 20th annual “Nutcracker” — will multi-task, performing various roles, so they gain the most dance experience possible.

To prepare, the students recently had some remarkable rehearsals and classes with international stars of the dance world: ballerina Maria Kochetkova and choreographer Sebastian Kloborg, and, of course, school founder and former Kirov Ballet star Marat Daukayev.

Classes are held at the school’s new 10,000-square-foot studio in the Equitable Plaza building at 3435 Wilshire Blvd.

“We are at home in our new space on Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown (not a huge commute for our Larchmont / La Brea families),” Pamela told us. (The school had formerly been on La Brea Avenue in the Miracle Mile.)

The new space features four ballet studios and a Pilates room. Large windows give views from the second floor of the Equitable Building.

“Our families are overjoyed to be back in the theater after a two-year COVID hiatus,” Pamela said.

Contemporary dance company Body Traffic also is in residence at the studio, “giving our students proximity to a vibrant contemporary company,” Pamela added. Marat also offers a budding adult beginning ballet program.

It’s been a busy time for the school, which last year offered performances of “The Nutcracker” and “Sleeping Beauty” in its school’s onsite performance space.

Last month, the school’s students performed at a benefit for KFAM (Korean American Family Services) in the awe-inspiring Endeavor Gallery at the California Science Museum.

“We [also] held a gala in support of Ukraine in March,” Pamela told us. “We have an alumnus who had to come home from Russia because of the war.  Lots going on!”

For tickets, visit maratdaukayev.com.

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Category: Entertainment

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