I was surprised to learn recently that a couple of people I talked with had never heard of the New Bedford Ballet Theater Company. New Bedford Ballet has been around for 30 years, teaching youngsters – and older dancers, too – the art of ballet.

It's a labor of love for President Joanne Gracia and Artistic Director Rebecca Waskiel. Both joined Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss the non-profit theater company, and the company's upcoming performance of "New England Nutcracker."

Ballet has many benefits.

"If your child likes to dance, it's just an incredible place," Gracia said. "And classic ballet is just so beautiful to watch."

Students at New Bedford Ballet run from ages three through high school.

"We have currently about 125 to 130 students, down just a bit from the pre-COVID days, plus we also have some adult dancers coming in for lessons as well," Weskiel said.

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Scholarships are offered for students with financial needs, and there are after-schools programs at the Gomes School as well. You can call the New Bedford Ballet for information about classes, fees, and more.

This year, New Bedford Ballet Theater Company will perform "A New England Nutcracker, " December 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11. There will be 10 performances in all, and you can call the theater company office at (508) 993-1387 for ticket information and show times.

Performances will be held at their building at 2459 Purchase Street.

Photo by Kelly Leblanc-Reis
Photo by Kelly Leblanc-Reis

Waskiel said that what makes this version of "The Nutcracker" so special is that it's set in Old New Bedford during the 1850s. Even Herman Melville will appear during the party scene. It's a great way to kick off the Christmas season.

The complete Townsquare Sunday interview with Joanne Gracia and Rebecca Waskiel can be heard here.

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard every Sunday morning at 6 on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM,

The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at jim.phillips@townsquaremedia.com.

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