Tickets to the Ballet Ensemble of Texas’ (BET) 2021 production of The Nutcracker are now on sale at https://tickets.irvingartscenter.com/bet. BET, one of Dallas’ best-reviewed pre-professional ballet companies, will present its production of the holiday classic with four performances on December 4-5, 2021, at the Irving Arts Center.
The 21st annual production will feature Emily Speed as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Simon Wexler as her Cavalier. Ms. Speed danced with Colorado Ballet from 2014-2020 and performed many soloist and principal roles. A native Texan living in New York City, she is now a professional freelance artist performing in multiple dance projects including Movement Headquarters, MorDance, Battery Dance Festival. Ms. Speed also performs as a principal guest artist across the country.
Simon Wexler was born in Kiev, Ukraine, immigrating to the United States in 1993 when he was only nine months old. Upon graduation from the Kirov Academy of Ballet, Mr. Wexler joined Orlando Ballet. He later joined Texas Ballet Theater under the directorship of Ben Stevenson O.B.E., where he was the company’s First Soloist in 2013 and Principal in 2014. From 2015-17 Mr. Wexler was a member of American Ballet Theatre. He expanded his repertoire to include roles in Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia, and La Fille Mal Gardee, Kevin McKenzie’s production of Swan Lake, Anna-Marie Holmes’ production of Le Corsaire, Alexei Ratmansky’s The Golden Cockerel, and Balanchine’s Prodigal Son.
BET’s 2021 production of The Nutcracker will feature more than 200 children from Ballet Academy of Texas (BAT). BET is the official performing company of the BAT and trains dancers who are recognized by prestigious pre-professional training programs across the country, with more than half of BET’s 31 company members placed in such programs last year. Professional alumni also dance with companies around the country, including four former BET dancers who currently perform with American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company.
As a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization, the company is funded largely by donations, and is supported by the City of Coppell, Texas Commission on the Arts, Irving Arts Center, and the City of Irving through the Irving Arts Board. Please visit the company website at www.balletensembleoftexas.org or on Facebook and Instagram @balletensembleoftexas.
Photo Credit: Cathy Vanover