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Twins Share Spotlight in New Orleans School of Ballet’s The Nutcracker

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NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Ten-year-old twins, Anna and Emma Aldana, started dancing at the New Orleans School of Ballet at just five years old and over the years, the twins have danced as Raindrops, Who Dats!, and Mardi Gras Strut in it’s uniquely New Orleans production, The Nutcracker in New Orleans. This year, the Aldana twins will alternate the iconic lead role of Clare Marie. 

“I knew right away in the audition that both girls were ready for the technical and artistic demands of Clare Marie,” said artistic director Nikki Hefko. “Clare Marie is on stage the entire production.  That can be exhausting for an adult, so it requires a special child to pull it off.  I’m excited that we have two this year!”

The girls are delighted to alternate the part.  “I especially like to share the role with Emma because I can always ask her a question if I don’t remember a step,” said Anna.  Emma said she was, “very excited when I saw both our names listed next to the role!”

The twins are focused on becoming professional dancers, and have already attended summer intensives at The School of American Ballet in New York City and Houston Ballet, but have other interests as well. Both train at Louisiana Rhythmic as rhythmic gymnasts and Emma plays the violin while Anna plays the piano and sings. The Aldana twins are students at Lusher School where Anna is in the Talented at Theater Program and Emma is part of the Talented at Visual Arts Program. 

Both the Aldana twins dream of dancing Aurora in Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty when they are older, but are now focused on delighting audiences with the rest of The Nutcracker in New Orleans cast of unique characters. See them dancing along with Nutria rats, Pelicans, Who Dats!, a Mardi Gras Strut and more in this original one of a kind production!

“The Nutcracker is a holiday cornerstone, but I’ve localized ours and made it ‘Naturally New Orleans”, says Nikki Hefko. “We’ve expanded Clare Marie’s dream and made the story relatable to our city.  The Cast is challenged technically and artistically, but have great fun relating this familiar, yet invigorated, beloved tale.   They will wow audiences in our lively production.  As always, Nutcracker is the perfect introduction to ballet with Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, amazing costumes, and fabulous dancing.”

New Orleans School of Ballet proudly presents its original The Nutcracker in New Orleans.  In the 2017 premiere, this re-envisioned Nola styled production delighted audiences of all ages.  After a year hiatus, this “Naturally New Orleans” holiday classic returns with a cast of talented young performing artists from New Orleans School of Ballet.  Set to Tchaikovsky’s renowned score, The Nutcracker in New Orleans runs on December 18-19 at Loyola University’s Marquette Theatre, 6363 St. Charles Ave. General admission is $30.

New Orleans School of Ballet provides classical training to young people and adults in a supportive & nurturing environment. We serve two distinct groups, children interested in exploring classical ballet and discovering the joy of dance and young pre-professional dancers in the serious pursuit of a ballet career.


Performances will take place at Loyola University’s Marquette Theatre, 6363 St. Charles Ave, 70118

Saturday, December 18 – 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 18 – 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 19 – 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 19 – 6:30 p.m.


Tickets are $30, General Admission

The Nutcracker in New Orleans performance length is approximately 1 hour including one brief intermission.

For tickets, visit https://nutinnola.brownpapertickets.com

For additional details, visit neworleansschoolofballet.com or call 504-866-0652





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