NEPA Scene Staff

Ballet Northeast presents holiday classic ‘The Nutcracker’ Dec. 18-20 at Wilkes University

Ballet Northeast presents holiday classic ‘The Nutcracker’ Dec. 18-20 at Wilkes University
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From a press release:

Ballet Northeast, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s only youth ballet company, presents its annual holiday classic “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 18-20 at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center on the campus of Wilkes University (84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre).

Watch in wonder as toy soldiers and mice become life size, and Clara is transformed into a older version of herself as she’s taken on a magical journey through the land of sweets. “The Nutcracker” is filled with brilliant costumes, mesmerizing music, and lighter-than-air dancing performed by the most talented young dancers from NEPA. This year, Ballet Northeast dancers will be joined by guest artists Adam Kittleburger and Ricardo Dyer.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for students (under 18) and seniors (65+) and may be purchased in person at the Ballet Northeast office at the Darte Center on Saturdays 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sundays 1:30 p.m.-3:30 pm. or online at

Artistic and Executive Director Karla Kovatch expressed her feelings as opening night nears.

“The Nutcracker embodies the essence of the season. It is a tradition we see many generations of families share and enjoy,” she said.

“Our company is excited to once again take to the stage, along with our gifted guest artists, to be part of your holiday celebration.”

In his first guest appearance with Ballet Northeast, Ricardo Dyer will perform the role of Sugarplum Cavalier. He is a current member of Elements Contemporary Ballet in Chicago. He was born in Panama City and is a graduate of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana with a BFA in Dance Performance. He began training at age 14 with The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia under the direction of Joni Petre-Scholtz, Ricardo Melendez, Kathy Brenner, and Lorraine Graves. During his time at Butler, Dyer was chosen to represent Butler University in the International Concert of Schools of Dance Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Guest artist Adam Kittelberger joins the cast of The Nutcracker Prince. He is a native of Rochester, New York and joined the Rochester City Ballet after receiving his training at the Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education and other local dance institutions. His solo roles include the Mouse King, Lead Chinese, Italian Ice, the Nutcracker Prince, and the Snow King. He was chosen for guest choreographer Patrick Corbin’s world premiere of “Shady III” and danced as the Waltz Boy in Balanchine’s “Serenade.”

Ballet Northeast draws company members from throughout NEPA, regardless of studio affiliation. Established in 1983 as the performing company-in-residence at the Degnan Ballet Center, Ballet Northeast has developed an impressive repertoire of classical ballets and has presented the local premieres of original works by prominent choreographers. In 2011, the Degnan Ballet Center became part of the Wilkes Conservatory. While Ballet Northeast works closely with Wilkes Conservatory, it is not affiliated with Wilkes University and remains an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

In June 2014, Wilkes-Barre native and former Boston Ballet dancer Karla Kovatch became artistic director. Ballet Northeast has remains committed to its mission:

  • To provide exemplary dance training for dancers throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • To expand educational and enrichment activities for young dancers
  • To increase awareness of ballet as an art form
  • To build an audience for dance in the region

For more information, contact the company at or 570-821-8525.