Saint Augustine Ballet to perform annual holiday classic “The Nutcracker”


The Saint Augustine Ballet will present its annual production of “The Nutcracker” Saturday, Dec. 17 at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium. For the past four months, Saint Augustine Ballet’s multi-generational cast of 85 members, comprised of students and several well-known local celebrities, have been rehearsing every Saturday since August. Carlos Miguel Guerra and Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg, the ballet’s principal dancers and former dancers with Miami City Ballet, will perform the iconic principal roles of the Cavalier and Sugar Plum Fairy. They, along with the other guest artists, will arrive in time to participate in the final week of rehearsals.

“I think this will be our best show ever,” Artistic Director Luis Abella said. “We’ve been making many changes to keep it fresh and exciting for our returning audiences. I’m really looking forward to showing off our guest artists. They are going to provide a spectacular ending to this magical show.

Kronenberg trained at the School of American Ballet before joining Miami City Ballet where she was a principal dancer from 2001-2016. She has been featured numerous times in Pointe Magazine, DanceView Times, Dance Spirit Magazine and is the author of the book, “So, You Want to be a Ballet Dancer.”

Guerra, a native of Cuba, began his training at the Professional School of Ballet and Plastic Arts in Camaguey, Cuba. He was a principal dancer with Miami City Ballet from 2003-2016 and is known for his spins, lifts and dynamic partnering. Guerra was the recipient of the 2015 Miami Life award in the category of “Best Male Ballet Dancer.”

Dancing the role of the Prince, Reinhard von Rabenau is new to Saint Augustine Ballet. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, he trained at Minnesota Ballet in 1997 and attended programs at Point Park University and Pacific Northwest Ballet. He danced with Minnesota Ballet from 2006-2015 and most recently with Ballet Palm Beach.

Returning to the role of the mischievous Uncle Drosselmeyer is Orlando Molina, associate school director of the Georgia Ballet. Molina received his diploma as a dancer/teacher from the Cuban School of Ballet and has performed around the world as a principal dancer before settling in the United States.

The story of “The Nutcracker” revolves around Clara and her fantastical journey to the Land of the Sweets. Clara will be danced by local dancer Eléa Woodward, a 13-year-old student at Fruit Cove Middle School.

“What excites me the most about being Clara is the fact that I have achieved my dream,” Woodward said. “Since I started dancing with Saint Augustine Ballet, I have always wanted to be Clara and I have worked hard to try to get the role.”

Tickets for “The Nutcracker” are $25-30 with discounts for people 65 years and older and 12 and under. Tickets are available at or by phone at (855) 222-2849. Audience members are asked to help fill the donation bins in the lobby with canned goods for the St. Francis House food pantry.