South Orange siblings on pointe in Montclair

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MONTCLAIR, NJ — South Orange siblings Anna Pettigrew, 13, and Will Pettigrew, 16, will join renowned professional guest artists when Anna stars as Clara and Will performs the role of Lead Chinese Boy in this year’s full-length production of New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble’s beloved holiday classic “The Nutcracker.”

Celebrated dancers Peter Brandenhoff, Rosemary Sabovick-Bleich, Joseph Fritz, Morgan McEwen, Brian Gephart, Bradley Shelver and Lyvan Esteban Verdicia from prestigious companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Metropolitan Opera Ballet and New Jersey Ballet, among others, join the ensemble for three performances at Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University, 1 Normal Ave. in Montclair, on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m.

Anna Pettigrew is an eighth-grade student at South Orange Middle School and Will Pettigrew is a junior at Columbia High School in Maplewood. Anna Pettigrew has been a member of NJDTE’s Ensemble Company since 2012, and Will Pettigrew is making his debut with the company this season. Anna Pettigrew will also perform the roles of Party Girl, Garland & Soldier this season, and Will Pettigrew also appears as a Party Boy, Soldier and Russian.

Being part of NJDTE is “a great opportunity for me to learn and grow as a dancer. The classes and professional teachers are excellent and the opportunity to perform is really exciting,” Will Pettigrew said in a press release.

“It has always been my dream to play Clara and I’m so excited to be given this special opportunity. ‘The Nutcracker’ is such a wonderful ballet and I love being able to tell a story through dance,” Anna Pettigrew said of her starring role.

Tickets for NJDTE’s 47th anniversary production of “The Nutcracker” are available for purchase online at

Photos Courtesy of Corey Bliss