Renowned International Ballet Star Joins Ventura County Ballet for Holiday Classic, The Nutcracker

Top Quote Aaron Smyth reprises role in shows dedicated to long time cast member and supporter. End Quote
  • Ventura, CA (1888PressRelease) October 11, 2016 - Australian dancer, Aaron Smyth will once again reprising his role of the "Nutcracker Prince" in the Ventura County Ballet's (VCB) 18th annual production of The Nutcracker at Oxnard Performing Arts Center, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. and Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. Every performance this season will be dedicated to the memory of long-time VCB supporter and guest cast member, Sandra Laby. In addition, each performance will feature Smyth, local pre-professional dancers, and be accompanied by the 52-piece Ventura College Symphony Orchestra lead by Maestro Robert Lawson.

    This will be Smyth's sixth and likely last, appearance with the company, as he is headed to London to perform in An American in Paris.

    "We are truly lucky to have Aaron back dancing with us," said VCB Executive Director Kathleen Noblin. "Aaron is wonderful, and he works with all the youth, even the youngest of the group. He is one of our most accomplished dancers and is up and coming in the world of ballet."

    "The Nutcracker is one of my favorite productions," expressed Smyth. "It is great to be able to work with the pre-professional dancers for the past six seasons. I love coming back to Ventura County and performing with the Ventura Ballet Company. It's great seeing how much these pre-professional dancers grow each year."

    Smyth left Australia at the age of 17 to join the Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis School of the American Ballet in New York. From there, Smyth has danced with celebrated companies, including the Royal Ballet in London, and the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Smyth has won numerous awards and competitions, including the International Ballet Competition and was a finalist on both Australia's Got Talent and America's Got Talent.

    The other roles in the production will be filled by VCB's very own pre-professional dancers, who will take on the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Snow Queen and Clara, as well as special community members who will take on smaller roles. To honor former community cast member Sandra Laby, who passed earlier this year, each performance will be dedicated to her memory.

    Event Information:
    What: Ventura County Ballet presents The Nutcracker
    When/Where: Saturday November 19th at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m and Sunday November 20th at 2 p.m. at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way Oxnard, Calif.

    Friday December 9th at 7 p.m., Saturday December 10th at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. and Sunday December 11th at 2 p.m.
    Cost: Starting at $30 for adults, $15 for children, and $24 for Seniors and Military

    VCB strives to connect artists, audience and community with artistically engaging performances. VCB features national and international ballet stars performing alongside pre-professionals and students, which provides unique training, production experience and mentorship for the next generation of dancers. For more information and for tickets, visit

    More about Aaron Smyth:
    Smyth's professional dance career began at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York City on a full scholarship. Shortly after, he was promoted to ABT II under the direction of Wes Chapman. With ABT II, Smyth performed in many new choreographic works including leading roles in Jessica Lang's "La Belle Danse," "Vivace Mottifs" and "Oblivion."

    Smyth was "Showcase" Australian Dancer of the Year in 2006. He won the silver medal from the Beijing International Ballet and Choreography competition in 2013, and performed at the Beijing International Ballet Awards Gala and Seoul International Dance Gala in Korea. Smyth also performed at the International Olympic Committee Gala at the Royal Opera House in honoree of the London Olympic Winter Games.

    About the Ventura County Ballet Company and Ballet Academy Ventura:
    Celebrating its 18th year, the Ventura County Ballet Company features professional dancers as well as VCB pre-professionals and students from Ballet Academy Ventura, the official school of the VCB.

    Kathleen Noblin, a recipient of the City of Ventura 2008 Mayor's Arts Award, founded Ballet Academy Ventura in 1992 as the official school of the Ventura County Ballet where the company is in residence. She has served as executive director of the company since its inception.

    For more information, or to sponsor an upcoming ballet or educational program, call (805) 323-6620 or visit

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