Photo by Paul Kolnik
Washington Township native Andrew Scordato plays the character of Mother Ginger in “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” This year, for the first-time ever, the New York City Ballet is doing something special with this seasonal favorite: on Tuesday, Dec. 13, “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” will be broadcast live to more than 500 movie theaters across the nation.
Ballet, featuring Washington Township native, airing live at movies
Published: Saturday, December 10, 2011, 4:00 AM
By Kristie Rearick
Andrew Scordato isn’t afraid to dress in drag.
But in order to don women’s clothes in “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” he had to be a pretty strong guy — Mother Ginger’s garments are pretty heavy, he said.
“There’s a reason it’s a guy in the part,” said Scordato. “The role involves walking on stilts in a dress that weighs about 90 pounds. It rests on my shoulders. It’s so big, and there are eight children under it. You have to be pretty sturdy to be able to do that.”
Scordato is thrilled to be playing the larger-than-life character of Mother Ginger, the woman who hides all of her children under her skirt in the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Court.
“I love drag personally. It’s great to add a little of that humor to the show,” he said.
And he has to be careful not to step on those children hiding under that skirt (supported by a 40-pound metal frame).
“I can’t see them, so I have to be very coordinated,” he said.
Scordato, a Washington Township native — his parents still live there — began his ballet career at a young age. Dance seemed like the perfect outlet for Scordato. When his mom would put on some music, Scordato would move to the beat, he said,
“She asked me if I wanted to take dance lessons and I said, ‘Yes.’ I started dancing when I was 5. I learned all of the different styles, but as I got older I was mostly into ballet,” he said.
At 9, he began studying dance at The Rock School in Philadelphia. But it wasn’t until he was 12, after watching the famed New York City Ballet in a performance, that he knew ballet was his true calling.
ANDREW SCORDATO has role of Mother Ginger
Salt Lake City native Megan Fairchild will be dancing her way into millions of living rooms across the country Wednesday. That’s when PBS will present New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker as part of a Live from Lincoln Center series.
The night before, Tuesday, Fairchild’s performance with the world-renowned ballet company is showing for one night in theaters nationally. Filmed live and in one-take, viewers will see the same performance as the audience in New York City.
Fairchild is excited about national exposure, which provides an opportunity for her dancing to be seen by friends and families, including many who haven’t seen her work since she left Utah for New York City 10 years ago. In addition, she’s especially pleased that a rebroadcast will air for U.S. service men and women around the world on Christmas Eve.
“I would never pass up the opportunity to perform, and hopefully bring joy to the men and women who serve our country,” Fairchild said. “I also hope that children who wouldn’t otherwise see a live ‘Nutcracker’ get to experience the magic of this wonderful ballet.”
What’s unusual about Fairchild’s Utah-to-New York City dance journey is that she’s had company along the way. She became a principal dancer with NYCB in 2005, while her younger brother, Robert, now 24, earned the same status in 2009.
Starting today until Dec. 13 — when George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker marks Lincoln Center and the New York City Ballet’s first foray into over 550 movie theaters nationally, hosted by Kelly Ripa — we will be sharing stories of New York City Ballet principal dancers who will be participating in this classic performance. Be sure to tune into PBS on Dec. 14 when George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker is broadcasted live by the Emmy Award-winning Live from Lincoln Center team, hosted by School of American Ballet board member Chelsea Clinton.
Yesterday, Bakersfield Californian reporter Camille Gavin mentioned Tiler Peck in her article:
“Local fans have a chance to see Bakersfield native Tiler Peck, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, in a performance of “The Nutcracker.”
One of the largest groups attending the show on Tuesday evening at Edwards Bakersfield Stadium 14 is bound to be students of Tiler’s mother, Georgia Peck, owner of Bakersfield Academy of Dance.
“I’m hoping to get a block of tickets and maybe we’ll have a pizza party before the show,” Georgia said. “There should be about 30 of my students going and some of their parents, too — so about 40 in all or maybe even 50.”
Tiler will perform the solo role of Marzipan to the music of “Dance of the Reed Pipes,” a part of the suite by Tchaikovsky.The ballet was choreographed by George Balanchine.
Television personality Kelly Ripa will interview some of the dancers backstage during intermission. Since it is a live performance, it’s not known whether Tiler will be one of those interviewed.”
Karen Bleier/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
For someone who once shunned the spotlight, Chelsea Clinton will be on TV a lot next week.
As part of her gradual emergence as a more public figure, Ms. Clinton will make her premiere on Monday as an NBC News special correspondent. Her first contribution involved traveling to her home state, Arkansas, to profile Annette Dove, who runs an afterschool program for underprivileged children in Pine Bluff.
The segment on Ms. Dove will be shown on the NBC newsmagazine “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” as part of the network’s “Making a Difference” franchise.
In an interview with The New York Times on Friday, Ms. Clinton said she hoped to use the NBC job to expand on the experiences she had campaigning for her mother in 2008.
On the campaign trail, Hillary Rodham Clinton promoted afterschool programs, though not specifically Ms. Dove’s, and visited similar organizations in places like Appalachia, the Watts section of Los Angeles and Iowa.
“In my work at NBC specifically, I hope to highlight stories of people who are both making a positive difference in their communities and our world,” Ms. Clinton said.
Ms. Clinton will also appear on PBS stations across the country next Wednesday, when she hosts Lincoln Center’s live broadcast of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” The Christmas-season staple will also be broadcast to active-duty military troops through the American Forces Network.
A longtime ballerina, Ms. Clinton played Favorite Aunt in the Washington Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” She sits on the board of the School of American Ballet.
The appointment of Ms. Clinton to a three-month trial position at NBC brought criticism that she got the job only because of her famous parents. Others grumbled that trained journalists had lost out on news positions to big-name novices like Ms. Clinton; Jenna Bush Hager, another former first daughter, who is a “Today” show correspondent; and Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain, who is an MSNBC contributor.
Steve Capus, president of NBC News, called the criticism “silly.”
“We’ve been on a hiring spree of some of the best journalists in the world and at the end of that we hired Chelsea Clinton as a freelance correspondent,” he said in an interview in his Rockefeller Center office about Ms. Clinton’s arrival. “There’s a lot of work to go around.”