Black Diamond Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker”
Presenting a holiday tradition has been a labor of love for Black Diamond Ballet Artistic Director Sharon Sobel Idul. After nearly two years in cinemas, the Black Diamond Ballet, Pittsburg’s professional dance company under the artistic direction of Sobel Idul, will be back on stage from December 10 to 12, with the holiday classic âThe Nutcrackerâ.
âThere is nothing like opening the curtain, turning on the lights and applause from the people,â said Sobel Idul. “It fills the dancers with energy.”
Last year, due to restrictions imposed by Contra Costa County on indoor performances, the 10th annual performance of The Black Diamond Ballet’s âThe Nutcrackerâ had to be presented online without an in-person audience. For the 11th year, the group was able to secure the El Campanil Theater in Antioch to host the event.
âThe stage is a bit smaller than what we are used to, which means we had to adjust the number of dancers who will be performing,â said Sobel Idul. “But we can perform on stage and in front of an audience.”
The ballet company also usually hosts a special performance for children at schools during the holidays, but with restrictions the company will have to get creative again. Sobel Idul said they will film the show that will be presented in schools and come up with a teaching guide with four lesson plans that teachers can use that include the history of ballet.
To make this year even more special for Sobel Idul, she will have the opportunity to share the stage with her 4.5 year old daughter, Lilliana Idul, and her 77 year old father, Michael Sobel. Lilliana will be in the ballet as one of the ginger snaps along with other members of the Pittsburg Performing Arts Academy. Michael Sobel will perform on the party stage for the ninth consecutive year. Sobel Idul will be the artistic director and will perform as Dewdrop and Spanish Chocolate.
“The Nutcracker”, an 1892 ballet originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is a beloved Christmas tradition for many. The ballet follows a story written by ETA Hoffmann in 1819 titled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”, which follows a girl who befriends a nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve and leads a battle against the evil mouse king.
Sobel Idul adds some of his interpretations to the ballet, bringing in professional dancers from across the Bay Area and the country. Locally trained ballet students will join the professionals.
Some of the names of the performers will be familiar to you as they have performed their roles in previous years. Amanda Farris of Diablo Ballet will play the role of the Sugar Plum fairy. Andrea Herrera, resident member of the Black Diamond Company of Antioch, will perform the roles of Snowflake, Flower and French Mirliton. Additionally, familiar cast member Ricky Navarro of Black Diamond, Pittsburg, will play the Snow Cavalier.
Tickets for performances December 10-12 at the El Campanil Theater range from $ 20 to $ 35 each and can be purchased online at bayareane.ws/BDBNutcracker. Please note that proof of vaccination will be required to attend any event at the El Campanil Theater. Anyone 12 years of age or older must show full proof of vaccination upon entry along with a corresponding ID. Evidence of negative COVID tests will not be accepted, anyone of any age must be masked at all times.
Boat parades: The San Joaquin Boat Club in Bethel Island will host the illuminated boat parade from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on December 11. Santa will arrive at the Yacht Club at 4:30 pm If you are bringing a child, bring a wrapped gift that Santa will give to the child. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m. and costs $ 10. Come early to get on the boat in the parade. The best decorated boat wins $ 100. For details, call 925-766-0690 or email [email protected]
Roni gehlke can be contacted at [email protected]