On Dec. 13, Milford Recreation’s Little Wing Adaptive Ballet Company will once again perform the Pine Forest Nutcracker at 7 p.m., in the Parsons Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Last year, more than 400 individuals from local and surrounding communities attended the annual holiday ballet.

This year, the cast will feature dancers with autism, Down syndrome and other emotional and physical disabilities.

Guided by Adaptive Program Specialist, Debora Marchese, this performance was created to introduce special needs performers to the transformative power of ballet.

The performance embodies community participation along with mentors, the Miracle Mentor Moms, volunteers, and costume makers throughout the city and surrounding areas. The Pine Forest Nutcracker is a culmination of months of rehearsals with mentor dancers working with the Little Wing Adaptive Ballet students; teaching them ballet and helping them learn the story and choreography of this beloved ballet.

During this show, dancers with special needs ages 6-30 take supporting roles and perform the lead roles of Clara and The Sugar Plum Fairy.

“The pure talent and passion behind this event is truly inspirational and the support it receives from our local governing officials speaks to its’ volume,” said Cassandra Schull, marketing & communications specialist, Milford Recreation. “As a new member of this community and the Recreation Department, I am excited to see how this program grows in the years to come with the support from our community.”

“Working together to recreate the Pine Forest Nutcracker, this program was fortunate enough to have the generosity of Scenic Art Studios from upstate NY to design our new back drop in 2018 which took the ballet to another level,” said Director of Recreation, Paul Piscitelli. “For families looking to catch the holiday spirit, this collaborative effort remains a must see magical performance of the Nutcracker.”

“This is the perfect performance for our small City with a big heart,” added Debora Marchese. “It’s appropriate for senior citizens, those with special needs and children.”

Admission for this event is free, however, a $5 donation at the door is suggested to continue to help fund adaptive programs such as this.

For more information contact Rich Minnix at 203-783-3387 or rminnix@ci.milford.ct.us.