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For immediate release
Contact: Ashley Duree, 714-490-6150

Italian Ambassador and U.S. Marine Sergeant added to Anaheim Ballet’s Nutcracker

Anaheim Ballet presents The Nutcracker with Symphony Irvine on Sunday, December 23, 12:30pm and 5:30pm at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Each year Anaheim Ballet brings fresh elements to the classic tale of The Nutcracker, and this year is no exception. Returning audiences will detect changes in Act II when the heroine Clara travels to Candyland.

While China, Arabia, Russia, Germany, Spain and England are represented by gifts from ambassadors in the ballet, Italy has been missing in action. Until now that is. This past year, Anaheim Ballet Artistic Director Sarma Lapenieks Rosenberg revisited Tchaikovsky’s iconic musical score and stumbled into an “aha” moment. The music for Sugar Plum Fairy’s escort, the Cavalier, is an Italian tarantella. So…Cavalier is the official Italian ambassador and escort for the Sugar Plum Fairy. You’ll recognize him this year by his Italian tailoring and tambourine.

While an Italian Cavalier escorting Sugar Plum Fairy is different, even more surprising is watching a real-life U.S. Marine Sergeant dancing several roles in this year’s production. Jorge Richard Lagunas, as audiences know him, is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar with Marine Air Control Group 48 in Southern California. He began his ballet training in the Anaheim Ballet outreach program STEP-UP! at 8 years old. He has performed in Anaheim Ballet’s Nutcracker for close to 16 years in numerous roles. We thank Richard for his service to our country and his arts dedication to the community.

Whether first time goers or returning Nutcracker lovers, audiences of all ages are sure to enjoy the beauty of sparkling snowflakes, the athleticism of Russian dancers, and the humor of bouncing bonbons.

Tickets are available at the City National Grove of Anaheim Box Office,, or at 714-712-2700.

Founded in 1997, Anaheim Ballet is the resident non-profit ballet company and outreach program for the City of Anaheim. The outreach program STEP-UP! provides local underserved youth with free daily classical ballet instruction at Anaheim Ballet studios while the Anaheim Ballet company performs in Orange County and Nevada. For more information visit or call 714-490-6150.

Photo credit: Todd Lechtick

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