LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- For the third year running, Ovation TV will ring in the holiday season with its annual "Battle of the Nutcrackers" programming event. Beginning Monday, December 7, Ovation TV, the only multi-platform network dedicated to art and contemporary culture, will showcase five vastly different productions from around the globe with the debut of "Battle of the Nutcrackers - World Games." This year's battle will be hosted by the talented Susan Jaffe, former prima ballerina at the American Ballet Theater.
"We couldn't be more pleased to have the one and only Susan Jaffe preside over this year's 'Battle of the Nutcrackers,'" said Kris Slava, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production, Ovation TV. "Having danced with the ABT for 20 years, there's no one better suited to provide an insider's view into these diverse productions of a true holiday treasure. 'Hard Nut' was the favorite last year, but Mark Morris and company have some very tough competition this year. We'll know on Christmas Eve who might be able to pirouette into the viewers' hearts in 2009."
"Battle of the Nutcrackers - World Games" includes the following titles:
- Mark Morris's Hard Nut - Monday, December 7, 8 p.m. ET/PT The two-year reigning champ in "The Battle of the Nutcrackers" takes on the challenge once again, leading the pack of worthy contenders. Mr. Morris's "Hard Nut" is a funky, irreverent rendition, filled with farce and laughs.
- Royal Ballet - Tuesday, December 8, 8 p.m. ET/PT . From London's beautiful Covent Garden Opera House comes this elegant production choreographed by Sir Peter and featuring an acclaimed cast, including Ivan Putrov as the Nutcracker, Alina Cojocaru as Clara, Miyako Yoshida as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Sir Anthony Dowell as the toy- and clockmaker Herr Drosselmeyer. Conductor Evgenii Svetlanov leads the Royal Opera Orchestra through some of Tchaikovsky's most beloved music.
- Casse Noisette Circus - Wednesday, December 9, 8 p.m. ET/PT With music performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo, this production from Belgium is choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot, who provides an innovative interpretation of the Nutcracker which transports the ballet to the world of circus.
- Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker - Thursday, December 10, 8 p.m. ET/PT The legendary holiday ballet is performed by the magnificent Bolshoi Ballet. Featuring Natalya Arkhipova and Irek Mukhamedov. Choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich.
- Bejart's Nutcracker - Friday, December 11, 8 p.m. ET/PT. A radically innovative re-imagining of The Nutcracker, this staging by acclaimed choreographer Maurice Bejart departs from the traditional Nutcracker story in virtually every way but the music. And even the score is adjusted to include French popular music, which is performed onstage by accordion legend Yvette Horner. Bejart, who passed away just before Christmas two years ago, uses the Nutcracker as a vehicle to explore his personal story.
Viewers will be able to see clips of Nutcracker performances online at www.OvationTV.com before they cast their final votes. The Viewers' Choice will be aired on Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and a Christmas Day marathon featuring all five Nutcrackers will kick off at 8 a.m. ET/PT.
About the host, Susan Jaffe:
Declared by the New York Times as "America's Quintessential American Ballerina," Susan Jaffe danced as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre for 20 years. Prominent in the international dance scene as well, her European engagements included performances with The Royal Ballet, The Kirov Ballet, The Stuttgart Ballet, The Munich State Opera Ballet, La Scala Ballet in Milan, The Vienna State Opera Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet, and The English National Ballet. In 2003, one year after her retirement from the stage, Ms. Jaffe co-founded the Princeton Dance & Theatre Studio in Princeton, New Jersey where she enjoys passing on the wealth of her knowledge to her dance students. She is also becoming a sought after choreographer and has created several works for Configurations Dance Theater and several Universities across the country.
About Ovation TV: Ovation TV is the only multi-platform network devoted to art and contemporary culture. The network creates and curates one-of-a-kind programming about all the art people enjoy most, from the popular to the avant-garde and everything in between. The channel reaches a national audience of 35 million households through carriage on DirecTV (channel 274), Dish Network (channel 157) and on cable and telco systems in major markets across the country. Ovation TV's programming is also available on video on demand (in both standard and high definition) in the US. Ovation TV's popular website (http://www.OvationTV.com) is a dynamic experience, featuring information about local and national happenings in the art world, as well as a vibrant community of artists who have uploaded over 100,000 pieces of original art.
SOURCE Ovation TV