CHS student to star in ‘Nutcracker’ with NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble

Photo Courtesy of Narratography
Anna Pettigrew

MONTCLAIR, NJ — Anna Pettigrew, 15, of South Orange, will join renowned professional guest artists when she performs “Toy Soldier” and “Archangel” in this year’s full-length production of New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble’s holiday classic “The Nutcracker.” Pettigrew is currently a sophomore at Columbia High School.

NJDTE returns to the Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University with its 49th anniversary season of the full-length production of “The Nutcracker.” Set to the classic music of Peter Tchaikovsky and choreographed by NJDTE Artistic Director Nancy Turano, the ballet features more than 60 talented pre-professional dancers from New Jersey alongside 12 renowned international guest artists.

“Anna is a technically powerful dancer with tremendous stage presence and artistic capacity. She will be featured in the role of Toy Soldier as well as parts of ‘Snowflakes,’ ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ and ‘Spanish.’ Anna’s passion for dance is evident; she truly stands out on the stage,” Turano said.

Pettigrew will be joining an extraordinary group of international dance artists, including Marie-Lorene Fichaux, formerly of Paris Opera Ballet and currently with the Hamburg Ballet and Boston Ballet, dancing the classic role of Sugar Plum Fairy; Mikhail Ilyin, formerly of American Ballet Theatre, appearing as her Cavalier; and Bradley Shelver of Metropolitan Opera Ballet as the Russian lead join the ensemble for three captivating performances. Also joining the cast are celebrated dancers Timothy Stickney of Complexions Contemporary Ballet in the role of Dr. Drosselmeyer, and former New Jersey Ballet prima ballerina Rosemary Sabovick-Bleich as the grandmother.

All performances take place at Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University, 1 Normal Ave., Montclair, on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 1 and 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available online at