A tea party with "The Nutcracker" | ParkRecord.com

A tea party with "The Nutcracker"

Although Ballet West is physically headquartered in Salt Lake City, the world-renowned company belongs to Utah.

That’s the reason The Ballet West Ambassadors will hold "The Nutcracker" Tea at Promontory on Sunday, Dec. 4.

The event will give Parkites and their children a chance to celebrate the holiday season and get more acquainted with Ballet West and its annual holiday production of Willam F. Christensen’s "The Nutcracker," said Alison Hayes, development manager of corporate giving for Ballet West.

"Ballet West tries to share and preserve the art of ballet and make it as accessible as possible to everyone," Hayes said. "Ballet West ambassadors coordinate and arrange activities and events that raise awareness and support for ballet. That’s why this is such a great thing for us."

Tickets are $30 per person and the price includes the opportunity to meet Henry Winn, 12, and Madison Young, 13, two of the children who play Fritz and Clara in the ballet, Hayes said.

"We’ll also serve sandwiches and lemonade with real cups and tea pots," she said. "Each person will get a free Christmas ornament, get their picture taken with Fritz and Clara and receive a discount coupon for a ticket to the ballet."

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The money raised at the event will benefit the Ballet West education and outreach programs, Hayes said,

In addition to the food and gifts, the event will feature a story time featuring Park City-based author Michelle Ostrowski.

Ostrowski, who recently published the book "Lucy Goes to Paris," will read a condensed version of "The Nutcracker," which is based on the classic tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann.

"We chose a to abridge the story, because of the younger children who tend to have shorter attention spans," Ostrowski said. "We’ll gather around the fireplace and the Christmas tree to hear the story."

Ostrowski, who began writing stories that were based on her traveling memoirs for her niece and daughters, said the telling of "The Nutcracker" prepares children to see the ballet.

"This will provide the kids, especially ones who are not familiar with the story, a prelude or an introduction and background to it all," she said. "It will frame the story in their mind and they can start imagining what it will be like before the curtains open."

Leslie Blevins, Park City Ballet West Ambassador, who helped organize "The Nutcracker" Tea said the story and ballet are magical and getting kids to experience the performance at the Capitol Theatre adds to the charm.

"The experience is different in the Capitol Theatre because it’s a more intimate venue than other big concert halls in the world," she said. "Wherever you sit, you feel like you’re a part of the production."

"The Nutcracker" Tea also fits with Promontory’s commitment to the arts, said Kathy Carr, director of youth programming at Promontory.

"We are committed year round for our members and guests to provide cultural arts," Carr said. "Promontory has a foundation and every year we raise money for the local community. A big chunk of that money has been donated to the arts each year. We have a commitment to informing our members, some of whom are from out of state, about family-friendly activities and productions like ‘The Nutcracker.’

"It’s good to see that kids have the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of mediums in art," she said. "Art helps them develop in their physical and emotional well being, and getting involved in the arts, seeking out their talents and learning different forms of expressions help kids grow into adulthood."

Many people who are members of the Promontory Golf Club and Resort are well-versed in art and culture and have attended ballets all over the world, Carr said.

"They’ve been to New York and London, but when the come into Park City for the winter, they have found the quality of Ballet West is just as good as anywhere in the world," she said. "We are lucky to have a company like this in our backyard."

The Ballet West Ambassadors will host "The Nutcracker" Tea Sunday on Dec. 4 from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Promontory Ranch Clubhouse, 9065 N. Promontory Ranch Road. Admission is $30 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling Alison Hayes (801) 869-6964.