Pocket area ballerina to star in The Nutcracker Mutt

Pocket resident, 10-year-old Nikole Farina is a rising star in the local ballet world. Nikole will be playing Clara, the opening weekend of Ron Cunningham's The Nutcracker Mutt with the Sacramento Ballet. Here she is shown with adorable puppies from Front Street. Photo by Robin Hagy and Mark Coverdale

Pocket resident, 10-year-old Nikole Farina is a rising star in the local ballet world. Nikole will be playing Clara, the opening weekend of Ron Cunningham's The Nutcracker Mutt with the Sacramento Ballet. Here she is shown with adorable puppies from Front Street. Photo by Robin Hagy and Mark Coverdale

Meet Nikole
Pocket resident 10-year-old Nikole Farina is a rising star in the ballet world. Nikole, who will be playing Clara, the opening weekend of Ron Cunningham’s The Nutcracker Mutt with the Sacramento Ballet, spoke with the Pocket News about her love of ballet and the excitement over her upcoming performance. “It means a lot to me, and is a great opportunity to be chosen to play Clara. It’s such an honor.”
Having completed seven years of dance training and now into her eighth, Nikole began dancing when she was three years old in June 2007 at Step 1 Dance and Fitness (1920 T St.) She first came to the Sacramento Ballet when she was 7 years old. In spring 2013, Nikole performed as a firefly in Cunningham’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Adding about the experience of dancing in the Nutcracker, Nikole said: “It’s a lot of fun, and I think it’s really cool that they have about 500 kids in the Nutcracker. And, for all the kids, I think they have a lot of fun working with Mr. Cunningham and the professionals.” Nikole’s first Nutcracker role was a Cherub in 2011, followed by being an Arabian Attendant in 2012, and Baby Blue in 2013. “And this year,” she proudly states: “I’m Clara.”

Dancers and puppies! The Sacramento Ballet has teamed up with the Front Street Animal Shelter for a special production, called the Nutcracker Mutt. Photo by Robin Hagy and Mark Coverdale

Dancers and puppies! The Sacramento Ballet has teamed up with the Front Street Animal Shelter for a special production, called the Nutcracker Mutt. Photo by Robin Hagy and Mark Coverdale

Asked what she likes most about dancing, Nikole said: “I like dancing because dance studios have a recital and it gives all the students an opportunity to be on stage. I also like the friendships I have made from dancing.”

A unique production of the Nutcracker ballet
This year’s production of the Nutcracker by the Sacramento Ballet will be unique as they are partnering with the Front Street Animal Shelter and bringing a new flavor to this holiday season. Hoping to encourage shelter pet adoption, this season’s Nutcracker will feature special four-legged guest stars. Each performance of the Nutcracker will include an adoptable dog in search of its own home for the holidays. Other shelter pets will be available for adoption during intermissions. The Sacramento Ballet’s Nutcracker will be held Dec. 6 through Dec. 21 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. Tickets are available now at www.sacballet.org/nutcrackermutt/

Bobby Mann, City of Sacramento public relations specialist for the animal shelter, spoke with the Pocket News about how the idea behind The Nutcracker Mutt was born and further shared details about the roles the dogs will play in the production.
“The dogs will be in the prologue and stroll across the stage. We may also have another special guest spot for puppies. The dogs will be picked from our population of dogs that are available for adoption at that time. The goal is to show people that shelter animals are just as beautiful, regal and trainable as any other dogs. We want to reach a demographic that may not normally visit a shelter and also bring joy to the cast members who are all shelter pet advocates,” Bobby said.
“Both organizations admired each other’s work and some of the staff from the ballet even volunteer for us. One day, we were brainstorming of ways to collaborate and this idea was born.”
One or two dogs will be performing in each show and there also will be other animals available at the show for adoption. “Every time a dog is adopted out we will pick a new dog to be in the show,” he added.

One Response to Pocket area ballerina to star in The Nutcracker Mutt

  1. Vicki Farina says:

    Love Front Street Animal Shelter! Love the Sacramento Ballet! Love Pocket News! Thanks so much for featuring this 🙂 #proudMom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *