Diablo Ballet’s Trainee Program takes flight

Trainees will perform in a brand new production of The Nutcracker Suite

(October 8,2019) WALNUT CREEK — Diablo Ballet’s new trainee program has produced two young inspring dancers, who will make their debut in Julia Adam’s brand new production of The Nutcracker Suite, which premieres when the company opens their 26th season with A Swingin’ Holiday & More November 8 – 10 at the Del Valle Theatre in Walnut Creek.

Since the launch of the Diablo Ballet School in August 2019, two trainees are being groomed in the school’s highest level and working with the Company, participating in rehearsals and appearing on stage. Alina Gonzalez, raised in Pittsburg, California and Olivia Cole, raised in Sonoma, California (where she also received her training), were chosen among a handpicked selection of students to be the first to participate in Diablo Ballet’s professional trainee program. Both women have commented that it is such a thrill and a dream come true to be a part of the program. Choreographer Julia Adam has cast them in original roles in her new The Nutcracker Suite. “This is exciting for Diablo Ballet. Not only are Alina and Olivia having this opportunity to work with a professional company but they are also having roles created on them by a world-renowned choreographer. This has been a dream of mine to train our own students and have them dance on stage with our world-class dancers”, stated Artistic Director, Lauren Jonas.

The Nutcracker Suite by Julia Adam, former principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, will sweep audiences away into the adventures of the Diablo family and their daughter Clara who reserve the Nutcracker Suite at the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill for Christmas Eve. Combining a fresh, new local twist to the timeless holiday classic storyline, this brand new ballet captures the magic and anticipation of the night before Christmas and is sure to delight every member of the audience. “I was very excited when I was asked by Diablo Ballet’s Artistic Director, Lauren Jonas, to create a holiday ballet because I wanted to create an experience of a warm, intimate holiday evening and a ballet that will complement A Swingin’ Holiday,” said Julia Adam.

Also on the program is the much-anticipated return of A Swingin’ Holiday, created in 2012 by Sean Kelly (currently the Associate Choreographer/Resident Director of the first national tour of “An American in Paris”). Featuring new dances added specifically for this season, the ballet is set to the exhilarating tunes of the ’30s and ’40s by legends Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Nat “King” Cole, Wynton Marsalis, and performed live by the 16-piece Diablo Ballet Swing Orchestra under the musical direction of Greg Sudmeier. Following each performance, ticket holders are invited to stay for a dessert and coffee post-performance reception where they can meet and mingle with the dancers. Tickets are $15-50. For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (7469) or visit lesherartscenter.org or krissyg.sg-host.com.

A Swingin’ Holiday and More performs November 8-10 at the Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Boulevard in Walnut Creek.

Performances: Friday, November 8 at 8 pm
Saturday, November 9 at 2 pm & 8 pm
Sunday, November 10 at 2 pm*

*Prior to the November 10th matinee, Diablo Ballet will present an exclusive Sugar Plum Party. This one-of-a-kind event starts with a family-friendly lunch complete with tea and sweets, arts and crafts, and an opportunity to dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy. Tickets are packaged with the 2 pm matinee performance and are limited to 50 guests. Visit krissyg.sg-host.com for more information. Season Subscriptions are available. Please visit krissyg.sg-host.com for information or to subscribe.

About Diablo Ballet


Since 1994, Diablo Ballet has been the award-winning, professional dance company for Contra Costa County. Presenting acclaimed classical and contemporary ballets, the company is committed to exposing youth to the arts through its renowned PEEK Outreach Programs which have reached over 68,000 underserved school children in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties since 1995. Also, Diablo Ballet has served hundreds of at-risk teenage girls incarcerated within the Juvenile Justice system since 2015, and in 2019, the company began working with teenagers housed at the Behavioral Health Unit at John Muir Hospital, Concord. This summer, Diablo Ballet opened the first Ballet School in Contra Costa County run by a professional ballet company, located in Pleasant Hill.

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