Inner City Nutcracker Production
CBH continues to exhibit its commitment to audience development and community educational outreach through the Inner City Nutcracker.
ICN involves docents and auditions where hundreds of inner city families are introduced to the world of ballet, and 100 children are selected to participate in the production. The children receive full training for the performances over an eight-week period, including instruction in dance technique and etiquette, costuming and participation in full length, professional level productions. The project culminates with the children’s appearance in two full-length performances at Houston’s Jones Hall. The first is performed exclusively for children from some of the most underserved schools in Houston, and the second is performed, admission free, to the Houston community. This project touches approximately 7,000 individuals. From there, many of the participants are asked to perform at CBH’s production of Nutcracker at The Grand 1894 Opera House.
The project provides CBH the opportunity to extend its community educational outreach in the following ways: 1) individuals, adult and children, are involved in the planning and performance; 2) the project is marketed to the entire Houston community, at no charge; 3) the docents are neighborhood oriented, taking place in parks and recreation sites; 4) CBH brings dancers directly to the underserved youth, by presenting in schools and at community parks; 5) selected children have the opportunity to continue training with CBH on full scholarship. This is the 28th anniversary of the project, and it is a proven and successful model. Scholarshiped students from this project have gone on to dance careers and received tuition scholarships to college. A prime example is Marlon Taylor-Wiles who went on to become a first generation college student at the Boston Conservatory on full scholarship, danced professionally, and was named one of Dance Magazine’s top 25 dancers to watch. Marlon continues to come back to perform in the Inner City Nutcracker.