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ABT News

September 12, 2016

Casting Announced for ABT's Performances of The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo Lead Opening Night Cast

December 9-18, 2016 in Segerstrom Hall
Tickets On Sale Now

Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo in The Nutcracker.

COSTA MESA, CA – Casting for American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker, co-presented by Segerstrom Center for the Arts and ABT, was announced today by Kevin McKenzie, ABT Artistic Director and Terry Dwyer, Segerstrom Center President. Choreographed by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, The Nutcracker will be given 12 performances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, December 9-18, 2016. The Nutcracker, set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, features choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, scenery and costumes by award-winning designer Richard Hudson and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. The Pacific Symphony performs the beloved holiday score. In the Los Angeles Times review from last year’s inaugural Center performance, it declared, “Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has made his own Christmas miracle: a joyful ‘Nutcracker’ ballet that is ravishing and clever enough to inspire multiple viewings.”

Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo will lead the opening night cast of The Nutcracker dancing the roles of Clara, the Princess and Nutcracker, the Prince, respectively. Subsequent casts include Hee Seo and Cory Stearns, Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside, Isabella Boylston and Jeffrey Cirio, Stella Abrera and Alexandre Hammoudi, and Sarah Lane and Joseph Gorak in the leading roles.

The engagement of The Nutcracker continues an on-going relationship between Segerstrom Center and American Ballet Theatre. The Company has appeared at the Center since the beginning in 1987. At the Center, ABT gave the world premiere of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Swan Lake in 1988, the West Coast premiere of Kevin McKenzie’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty in 2007 and the world premiere of a new production of Firebird by Alexei Ratmansky in 2012. In 2008, the Center and ABT co-commissioned Twyla Tharp¹s Rabbit and Rogue, receiving its world premiere in New York and West Coast premiere at the Center. In 1999, ABT’s production of Le Corsaire was taped in Segerstrom Hall for broadcast on PBS’ Dance In America, winning an Emmy Award. In 2003, The Dream was also taped at the Center for broadcast on Dance In America. In March 2015, Segerstrom Center presented the world premiere of ABT’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty as choreographed by Maurius Petipa with staging and additional choreography by Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky. In March of 2017, ABT will return to the Center performing in a world premiere work by Ratmansky.

Principal Casting for The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center the Arts

Artists and program are subject to change.

Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m.

Misty Copeland
Herman Cornejo

Sunday, December 11 at 12:30 p.m.

Isabella Boylston
Jeffrey Cirio

Thursday, December 15 at 7 p.m.

Isabella Boylston
Jeffrey Cirio

Saturday, December 17 at 7 p.m.

Misty Copeland
Herman Cornejo

Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m.

Hee Seo
Cory Stearns

Sunday, December 11 at 5:30 p.m.

Hee Seo
Cory Stearns

Friday, December 16 at 7 p.m.

Misty Copeland
Herman Cornejo

Sunday, December 18 at 12:30 p.m.

Sarah Lane
Joseph Gorak

Saturday, December 10 at 7 p.m.

Gillian Murphy
James Whiteside

Wednesday, December 14 at 7 p.m.

Gillian Murphy
James Whiteside

Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m.

Stella Abrera
Alexandre Hammoudi

Sunday, December 18 at 5:30 p.m.

Stella Abrera
Alexandre Hammoudi

Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker start at $29 are now available online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. Special Sweet Seats are available for every performance and include:

•           Premier Seating location in Orchestra rows A-F  

•           Exclusive pre-show selfie opportunity with ABT Dancer

•           A special Nutcracker -themed gift

•           A special holiday sweet treat

Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds Kia, Official Automotive Partner of the Center, and United Airlines, Official Airline of the Center. The Center’s 2016-2017 International Dance Series is made possible by The Audrey Steele Burnand Endowed Fund for International Dance and The Segerstrom Foundation Endowment for Great Performances. ABT’s The Nutcracker is presented with support from the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

American Ballet Theatre gratefully acknowledges Lead Underwriter of The Nutcracker, David H. Koch as well as Linda Allard for her generous support of costumes for The Nutcracker. Additional support is generously provided by Joan Taub Ades and Alan M. Ades, The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Foundation and Brian and Darlene Heidtke are Co-Underwriting Sponsors of The Nutcracker. A gift as Co-Underwriting Sponsor of costumes for The Nutcracker has been provided in loving memory of Ellen Everett Kimiatek, The Nutcracker is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

American Ballet Theatre is one of the great dance companies in the world. Few ballet companies equal ABT for its combination of size, scope and outreach. Recognized as a living national treasure since its founding in 1940, ABT annually tours the United States, performing for more than 400,000 people, and is the only major cultural institution to do so.

Over its 75-year history, the Company has appeared in a total of 132 cities in 50 countries and has performed in all 50 states of the United States. ABT has recently enjoyed triumphant successes with engagements in Paris, Brisbane, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

On April 27, 2006, by an act of Congress, American Ballet Theatre became America’s National Ballet Company®.

Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, is the largest orchestra formed in the United States in the last 50 years, and is recognized as an outstanding ensemble making strides on both the national and international scene as well as in its own community of Orange County, Calif. Pacific Symphony offers moving musical experiences with repertoire ranging from the great orchestral masterworks to music from today’s most prominent composers, highlighted by the annual American Composers Festival. Pacific Symphony is dedicated to developing and promoting today’s composers and expanding the orchestral repertoire – illustrated through its many commissions and recordings, in-depth explorations of American artists and themes. The Symphony’s innovative approaches to new works received the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2005 and 2010. In 2010, Pacific Symphony was named one of five orchestras profiled by the League of American Orchestras in a study on innovation. Since 2006, the Symphony has performed in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, designed by Cesar Pelli with acoustics by Russell Johnson. In March 2006, the Symphony embarked on its first European tour – receiving an unprecedented 22 rave reviews.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an acclaimed arts institution as well as a beautiful multi-disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence on all of its stages, offering unsurpassed experiences, and to engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring programs.

Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center is Orange County’s largest non-profit arts organization. In addition to its six performance venues, Segerstrom Center is also home to the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School, where students ages 3 – 14 are taught by acclaimed teachers utilizing the renowned ABT National Training Curriculum in studios utilized by the world’s greatest dancers and choreographers.

The Center presents a broad range of programming for audiences of all ages, including international ballet and dance, national tours of top Broadway shows, intimate performances of jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, free performances open to the public from outdoor movie screenings to dancing on the plaza and many other special events.

The Center’s education programs are designed to inspire young people through the arts and reach hundreds of thousands of students each year. In addition to the presenting and producing institution Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the 14-acre campus also embraces the facilities of two independently acclaimed organizations: Tony Award®-winning South Coast Repertory and a site designated as the future home of the Orange County Museum of Art.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is also proud to serve as the artistic home to three of the region’s major performing arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and the Pacific Chorale, who contribute greatly to the artistic life of the region with annual seasons at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.



Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Segerstrom Hall

December 9 – 18, 2016

Friday at 7 p.m.

Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m.

Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday – Friday at 7 p.m.


The Nutcracker choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, set to a score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, performed live by Pacific Symphony.

600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA

Tickets          Start at $29

In person –       The Box Office

600 Town Center Drive

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily

Online – 

Phone –            (714) 556-2787

Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily

Group Sales – (714) 755-0236

Information provided is accurate at the time of printing, but is subject to change. Segerstrom Center for the Arts is a private, non-profit organization. “Segerstrom Center for the Arts” is a registered trademark.

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