Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP)
Pam Siekman, Event Chair, (H) 254-3259 (C) 335-6680, pamsiekman@earthlink.net

Moscow Ballet Presents Great Russian Nutcracker As Fundraiser for the Western North Carolina AIDS Project
Asheville, North Carolina – November 24, 2009
The acclaimed Moscow Ballet will present Anatoli Emelianov’s Great Russian Nutcracker this holiday season on December 22 at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, in part as a fundraising event for the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP).   Moscow Ballet chooses to partner with non-profit organizations across the US and Canada each year when they tour, as a means to raise funds for local community initiatives.   They have set aside 300 of the best seats in the auditorium as “fundraiser tickets” for WNCAP.  These tickets are only available for purchase through WNCAP and must be purchased before December 10th. 
The link between Moscow Ballet’s December 22nd performance and WNCAP is about more than just fundraising.  A special tribute to renowned Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who died from AIDS related illnesses in 1993, will be offered as a prelude.  The memorial tribute will feature original choreography by ballet master Vladmir Troschenko, the director of the Great Russian Nutcracker and an honors graduate of the Bolshoi and Kirov academies. Troschenko’s presentation of the Great Russian Nutcracker is best known for its world class dancing and exceptional costumes.
Performing along with Moscow Ballet will be local children instructed by dance instructor, Michele Lee, owner and director of Center Stage dance studio. Lee has offered dance training for 31 years and is known in this community for her unique, inspiring choreography and teaching style.  Lee has experience in the theatrical realm as well, including extensive choreography for several children’s theaters in Charlotte, and at Warren Wilson College.  “The value of dance is far greater than the awards, trophies, or honors,” Lee has said.  The value that Lee will provide to this Great Russian Nutcracker performance is no different.
Pam Siekman, WNCAP event chair, is excited about Moscow Ballet coming to Asheville and is honored that “this year, they chose to partner with WNCAP as part of their World AIDS Day initiative, bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS prevention education and service programs in Western North Carolina along with a world-renowned theatrical performance.”  World AIDS Day is commemorated each year on December 1st, with many communities hosting a series of events during December to raise awareness and build solidarity in the fight against HIV/AIDS.   
The Western North Carolina AIDS Project is dedicated to providing HIV-related services to residents in the seventeen westernmost counties of the state.  WNCAP currently serves 350 individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS and offers prevention education and outreach to thousands more in the region each year.  More information about Moscow Ballet’s performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker and other local World AIDS Day events can be found on the WNCAP website, www.WNCAP.org.  Fundraiser tickets for the performance can also be purchased there, via a link from the homepage. 
Moscow Ballet features top graduates of Perm, Vaganova, Moscow State Academic Choreographic and Kiev schools, and will perform the Great Russian Nutcracker against a backdrop of Valentin Fedorov’s hand-painted scenes and life-sized dancing puppets. Fedorov has designed over 40 productions for opera and ballet and is the current art director of the Chuvashia State Theater.  For more information about Moscow Ballet and the Great Russian Nutcracker, visit www.nutcracker.com.
Photos are available for download at C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\RB8GGRR0\nutcracker images.mht.
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Western North Carolina AIDS Project • 554 Fairview Rd. • Asheville, NC 28803
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