(SEWELL, NJ) -- In solidarity with the people of Ukraine, Talmi Entertainment announces the company’s flagship production, “Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker,” will be renamed “NUTCRACKER! Magic of Christmas Ballet.” Talmi Entertainment is an independent, American owned production company based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. The production comes to the Investors Bank Arts Center in Sewell, on Monday, November 14th at 7:00pm.
Founder, Akiva Talmi, whose family came to America from Odessa, Ukraine, expands upon this decision. “Talmi Entertainment unequivocally rejects this war on Ukraine. Our central message in bringing dance to America has always been one of peace and unity. This name change is consistent with the founding values reflected in our earliest projects: the First International Glasnost Festival and the Kozlov’s Leap to Freedom tour, which came about as Communism collapsed. ‘NUTCRACKER! The Magic of Christmas Ballet,’ featuring renowned Artistic Director Nobuhiro Terada and an international cast of artists, continues our mission to use the universal language of dance to bridge cultural divides. For thirty years we have worked with the opera houses of Ukraine in Kharkiv, Lviv, Odessa, Kyiv, and Dnipro, and we shall continue this work to demonstrate our commitment to peace and international unity.”
Acclaimed for its exquisite Dove of Peace adagio and unique setting of Act II in the Land of Peace and Harmony, “NUTCRACKER! Magic of Christmas Ballet” is the largest touring production of its kind. New and returning audiences will love its world-class dancers and acrobats, dramatic storytelling and visually stunning larger than life puppets. New to the production are a flock of white doves and a cadre of delicate marionettes crafted by Master Puppeteers in the World UNESCO Heritage city of Prague, Czech Republic. Under the direction of Nobuhiro Terada (designated People's Artist of Ukraine), this truly extraordinary production brings back the tradition of joy and magic that families nationwide have enjoyed for 30 years.
After a two year live performance hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the artists of “NUTCRACKER! Magic of Christmas Ballet” are thrilled to be back on the road and ready to bring the joy of this timeless Christmas classic to your town. “NUTCRACKER! Magic of Christmas Ballet” will be coming to the Investors Bank Arts Center in Sewell, NJ, on Monday, November 14th at 7:00pm.
A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine, allowing the artists and patrons to use this 2022 Tour as a platform to directly help those in need. Every purchase moves us closer to our goal of $100,000 in donations to UNICEF, which will directly help women, children, and those most critically affected.
The war in Ukraine is personal to many involved in the production. Many of their artists and performers have been with the company for years, and many are struggling in the face of unbelievably desperate circumstances:
Karyna Shatkovksaya and Volodymyr Tkachenko – They are two of the company's principals from Kharkiv, which is now under fire. Karyna managed to escape with their son Matvey, but Vlad is still in Kharkiv to protect and care for his parents.
Olena Pecheniuk – She is a principal artist with the Dnipro Opera House. Olena has the distinction of being a princess. Despite that, she has been forced to flee her home with her son.
Olga Pasternak – She is a principal artist in Kyiv. She has worked as an audition director, teaching American children under the “Dance With Us” program in US. When the war started, she was on tour. She is currently in France.
Oleksii Potiomkin – He is a principal artist with the National Theater in Kyiv and has performed in the U.S. as part of our company. He is currently the subject of international acclaim for joining the Ukrainian military to fight for his country.Our Artistic Director, Nobuhiro Terada, is the current Artistic Director of Kyiv’s National Opera and Ballet Academy, as well as the Ambassador of Culture for Kyoto, which enables him to bring the joy of the Ukrainian ballet to Japan. He and his wife have lost their home due to the war in Ukraine, but they remain committed to supporting our artists as part of our 2022 tour.
Bogdana Kopiy – She has also served as a Dance With Us” instructor in the U.S. and has taught numerous children across the country. She managed to escape to Hungary with her husband.
Talmi Entertainment has a legacy stretching back to the early 1970’s of presenting the finest artists working in dance. With a message of transcendent humanism and liberation from the Iron Curtain, the Glasnost and Leap to Freedom ballet tours of the late 80’s launched newly freed former Soviet ballet artists onto the international stage. In 1993, “Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker” was born of the desire to share this world-class artform and message of freedom with a new and diverse audience. 2022 marks a new epoch in which artists and creators go forward into the future with “NUTCRACKER! Magic of Christmas Ballet.”
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