By JACK SHEEDY for The Register Citizen

TORRINGTON – “Dance, ballerina, dance!”

That is what dozens of ballerinas and danseurs will be doing May 16, 17 and 18 on the main stage of the Warner Theatre, as they present Nutmeg’s Dance Jubilee.

But, unlike the Carl Sigman/Bob Russell song made famous by Vaughn Monroe, the Nutmeg Ballet dancers hope there will be no “chair that’s empty in the second row” of the 1,770-seat theater. As Nutmeg begins to celebrate its first 50 years, they are hoping to fill the theater.

The Nutmeg Dance Jubilee is the culminating event of the 2018-2019 dance season and of the Nutmeg’s first 49 seasons.

“Time flies when you’re having such fun,” said Sharon Dante, Nutmeg Conservatory’s founding director. “The first 49 years have seen growth not only for Nutmeg and its students and staff but certainly for our entire arts community in Torrington. Nutmeg has become a significant economic driver for our unique little city nestled in the northwest Connecticut foothills. It is only right that we should celebrate this milestone on the Warner main stage since we were so involved with re-opening the Warner in 1983.”

She added that Nutmeg plans to maintain the same intimate and personal approach from the main stage as from the Warner’s smaller Nancy Marine stage or Nutmeg’s Premiere Studio, where these spring performances had traditionally been held. Early ticket holders will fill seats nearest the stage.

Donna Mattiello, academic dean, said, “The event takes place during graduation weekend, when the entire student body, friends and invited guests to gather along with the 12 graduating dancers taking part in commencement exercises as part of the May 18 program.”

The performances feature excerpts from “Paquita,” staged by Eleanor D’Antuono and Denise Limoli, and including 38 young students from the Torrington School of Ballet.

Nutmeg dancers will also perform original works by Momix, Kirk Peterson, and Kate St. Amand; as well as an encore presentation of last year’s “Jazz with Charlie,” a collaboration between artistic director Victoria Mazzarelli and Charlie Patterson, featuring live music performed by the local jazz ensemble JINQS.

“Our evening is a wonderful mix of classical ballet and modern dance,” Mazzarelli said. “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Charlie Patterson and JINQS again. Having live music really takes the performance to another level.”

Performances are May 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and May 18 at 2 p.m. on the main stage of the Warner Theatre, 68 Main St., Torrington. For tickets, call the Warner box office at 860-489-7180 or go to Nutmegconservatory.org, choose Performances from the top menu, then click on Dance Jubilee.

Order early. You may be the one to fill that empty seat in the second row.

“Our evening is a wonderful mix of classical ballet and modern dance,” Mazzarelli said. “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Charlie Patterson and JINQS again. Having live music really takes the performance to another level.”
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