When the curtain opens on The Nutcracker at the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts December 9th and 10th, professional guest artists from Puerto Rico will once again grace the stage, and Brighton School of Ballet is hoping to send them home with help for the ongoing hurricane recovery effort.

In advance of the December performances and to help kick off the holiday season, Brighton School of Ballet will be performing excerpts from The Nutcracker at Brighton’s Holiday Glow this Saturday, November 18th from 4-7pm on Main Street. Attendees are invited to take pictures with costumed dancers, including the Nutcracker and Clara, in exchange for a donation to help the dance community of Puerto Rico recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

2017 will mark the 8th consecutive year professional guest artists from the National Ballet Theatre of Puerto Rico have danced in Brighton School of Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker. One of the most frequent guest artists in the role of the Sugarplum Fairy, principal dancer Marena Perez, also serves as the director of Puerto Rico’s Mauro Youth Ballet, which is where the donations will be sent.

Katrina Frelich is the artistic director and owner of Brighton School of Ballet. “These dancers have so graciously given of themselves to our performances over the years, and continue to do so in the middle of their own struggles. Now it’s our turn to help them in whatever way we can.”

Despite being without power since Hurricane Maria hit, the Mauro Youth Ballet has opened its doors to dancers from across Puerto Rico, and has performed at shelters throughout the island. Instructors are currently working without pay and many students and teachers alike report having lost everything in the hurricane.

In addition to the donations collected at the Holiday Glow, Brighton School of Ballet has set up a Go Fund Me page to benefit the Mauro Youth Ballet, and will be donating a portion of the proceeds from both performances to the recovery effort. Tickets for The Nutcracker are available at www.brightonschoolofballet.com The GoFundMe link is below. (JK)