The Production

The Nutcracker Ballet presented in 3 performances: December 10, 11th and 2009 at The Grand Hyatt Hotel, in Amman. Two performances will be offered to the community at large and a third children’s performance will be presented as part of The School of Amman Ballet’s (SAB) community outreach program.

The production will include a cross section of members of the community and dancers from Amman and abroad. Music for the production will be performed live by the National Music Conservatory under the direction of Kifah Fakhoury and presented by the Amman Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mohammad Sidiq. A choral pre-show and vocals for the production will be performed by the Bishop’s and Ahliyyah’s school choirs. Costumes will be provided by both The KENZ shop of the Al Hussein Society and by Hana’s a local business. The production is intended to become an annual event whereas investment in costumes, sets, and props will deliver returns in subsequent yearly performances.

Nutcracker Story Time: During the month of November Story-tellers will be visiting local schools, libraries, bookstores and orphanages to read the Nutcracker story to familiarize and educate children about the story, the ballet and its music.
Tickets are being purchased by local businesses and leaders providing the symphony and ballet to children who otherwise may never have this opportunity to experience live classical performing arts.

Nutcracker Tea Party: A Nutcracker Tea Party is being sponsored by Zalatimo Sweets on December 5th at La Mirabelle in Shmesani which we will be presenting the Nutcracker Story read by the award winning filmmaker, Annemarie Jacir. Music from the ballet will be featured and sweets from the “Land of Sweets” will be served. Doodles will be providing additional surprises for the children including face painting.

Amman Symphony Orchestra Dr. Kifah Fakhoury, Director,
National Music Conservatory – The National Music Conservatory (NMC), established by the Noor Al Hussein Foundation in 1986, is Jordan’s premier institution for the development of talented local musicians and the promotion of music appreciation in Jordan. NMC demonstrates the power of music to promote understanding, peace and unity across cultural divides.
NMC has trained thousands of students since its inception. It assists advanced students to pursue their music specialization abroad, and it campaigns in Jordan to integrate music as a fundamental component of education.
NMC musicians participate in a global network of international competitions, seminars, workshops, and master classes each year in Jordan and abroad.
The Amman Symphony Orchestra is one of NMC’s most distinguished initiatives. With invaluable support from the Greater Amman Municipality, the Amman Symphony Orchestra has become an integral part of Jordan’s cultural scene.
Artistic Director: Melissa Sweiss, Director, The School of Amman Ballet Born in Colorado, Melissa graduated with a BA from Indiana University in Communication Arts/Theatre and majored in dance at Butler University, Jordan College of Fine Arts, Indianapolis. Having recently relocated to Amman, Melissa has most recently directed an intensive summer ballet program at the Orthodox Club and teaches over 100 students in the Amman community Prior to founding the school, Melissa taught ballet at schools across the U.S., and acted as choreographer for local high schools. She also danced professionally with the Butler Ballet and the Omaha Ballet and acted in various professional theater productions in Chicago, Illinois.
Choir: Ahliyyah School for Girls and Bishop School for Boys under the direction of Isam Ashayed.
Choreography: Racheal LaBonte, Ballet Mistress, The School of Amman Ballet Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Racheal is a graduate of the “Kirov Academy of Ballet” in Washington, DC, which is defined by the Russian technique of “Vaganova” ballet. Prior to the Kirov, she attended “The Harid Conservatory”, in Boca Raton, Florida and “Peabody Conservatory”, in Baltimore, Maryland. Professionally, she has performed and worked with Columbia City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Savannah Arts Festival and South Eastern Ballet Association. Prior to moving to Amman, Jordan, Racheal taught dance at various studios and park districts in the United States, where she worked with students to prepare and choreograph dance routines for live performances, competitions, and pageants. Racheal looks forward to promoting ballet in the growing fine arts community here in Amman.
Contributors: Freeway Dance Studios and Creative Kids
Tatiana Merinova, choreographer, Freeway Dance Studios. Born in Voronezh, Russia, Tatiana is a graduate of Voronezh Academy of Choreography in classical ballet and Samara Pedagogical Institute with BA in Show Production and Management. Tatiana danced with the Boris Eiffmann Ballet (St.Petersburg), Stanislavski Musical Theater (Moscow) and Athens Opera Theater (Greece). In 2003 Tatiana relocated to Amman and taught in the Embassy of Russian Federation and different private schools. Since May 2009 she is one of co-founders of Freeway Dance Studios where she teaches classical ballet and musical theater dance classes.
Maxeem Ayyad, choreographer, Freeway Dance Studios. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Maxeem is a graduate of Kiev National University of Culture and Arts with a BA in Show Business Management and Pedagogical University of Ukraine with a BA in Education/Linguistics. Maxeem started his dance career as a ballroom dancer and later continued as hip hop dancer. He danced in Ukraine, Russia, South Korea and Poland. Maxeem has extensive experience choreographing and directing dance performances, fashion shows and beauty pageants. In 2006 Maxeem relocated to Jordan, taught hip hop in various dance establishments in Amman. In May 2009 he started Freeway Dance Studios. At present he is teaching various styles of hip hop.
Yevheniya Permynova, choreographer, Freeway Dance Studios. Born in Russia, Yevheniya is a Registered Teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance (London). Initially trained as a character dancer in Ukraine, Yevheniya graduated from Kharkov National University of Ukraine with a BA in Education/History. Yevheniya danced with a folklore ensembles in Ukraine and Bulgaria. After obtaining Teaching Certificate from RAD she taught classical ballet and choreographed bi-annual dance shows in Saudi Arabia (1997-2004) and Jordan (2004- present) in expatriate compounds and private schools. In May 2009 Yevheniya founded Freeway Dance Studios where she teaches classical ballet and musical theater dance classes.

Costumes: Wafa Labadi, and KENZ KENZ is a non profit project of Al-Hussein Society for the Habilitation/Rehabilitation of the Physically Challenged. A group of talented ladies who are physically challenged working with creative designers produce KENZ’s artistic products. All Sale revenues of KENZ go toward supporting the school and all rehabilitation programs at Al-Hussein Society.
Set and Costume Design: Hana Barqawi, Hana’s Hana Barqawi, Jordanian business woman, designer and architect designs and delivers creative interior designs and costuming for the children.
Narrator: Annemarie Jacir Annemarie Jacir has been working in independent film since 1994 and has written, directed and produced a number of films. Annemarie Jacir was named one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema in 2004. Her short film, like twenty impossibles was the first Palestinian short film to be an official selection of the Cannes International Film Festival (Cinefondation), went on to be a Student Academy Awards Finalist, and won over 15 awards at International festivals including Best Film at the Palm Springs Short Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Institute Du Monde Arabe Biennale, Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival, and IFP/New York.
Contact: Melissa Sweiss 079-587-1575


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