More than 150 patrons turned out to celebrate at a reception and party following the Saturday night performance of the Appalachian Ballet Company’s “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 5 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium.
The Board of Trust for the ballet company organizes a patron’s party following the Saturday night show. “Our Board of Trust once again put on quite a lovely spread of all kinds of food and desserts,” Appalachian Ballet Company executive director Amy Moore Morton said.
The older dancers were invited to the party, and Dennis Russell played piano for the guests. “It was decorated beautifully for Christmas. It was nice, and was a chance for the patrons to meet the dancers and get to know the guest artists -Eddie Mikrut and Christine Rennie from the Nashville Ballet and Ted Seymour from Chicago,” Morton said.
The executive director said she had heard many wonderful compliments that the production was the best ever and that the company continues to improve the quality with new costumes and choreography.
“We had very good attendance,” said Morton, “not what we would have liked it to be, but considering the economy and other entertainment choices - one being the Maryville High School state championship game - we had good numbers for the most part.”
Before the public performances on Saturday and Sunday matinee, the company does shows for area schools. For these school shows, about 4,000 East Tennessee school children were brought to enjoy the ballet. Morton said estimates were that the public Saturday show drew approximately 1,200 guests with about 1,700 coming to the Sunday matinee the next day.
“We had nice crowds and standing ovations for both nights of public shows. They were very enthusiastic. I think it’s the best the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra has sounded in many years,” Morton said. “They were really on top of it and played beautifully. The Farragut High School Chorus were located to the side of the orchestra pit this year where the audience saw them, and they got a positive reaction. The audience heard them better.”
Morton said she hopes people continue to support the ballet company in the coming years. “We look forward to seeing them in the new Clayton Center for the Arts for the premier of ‘Peter Pan’ in April,” she said.