Tupelo Nutcracker boasts pro performers

TUPELO – Professional New York ballet dancers, including one whose life has been made into a film, will perform in Tupelo Ballet’s Nutcracker this weekend.
Meghan Grace Hinkis and Irlan Silva, both members of the prestigious American Ballet Theater II, will portray the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier, respectively. The pair came to Tupelo at the request of Tupelo Ballet Artistic Director Sharon Long.
This is their second time here.
“We love it in Tupelo. They really have a sense of the Christmas spirit here,” said Hinkis, an 18-year-old ballerina who previously danced the role of Clara with the Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular.
Joining her is Silva, a 19-year-old who used his talent for dance to flee the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His life was made into a film documentary called “Only When I Dance,” which opens Friday in cinemas throughout the United Kingdom.
“It’s about my life, because my family lived in a poor place in Brazil, and my dream was to go to an American ballet theater,” Silva explained in his heavily accented English.
He joined ABT II in New York last year and now lives there full time. He said he one day hopes his family can join him.
Long said she’s delighted to have the dancers perform in Tupelo and encourages the public to attend the Nutcracker on Saturday at the Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center.

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

From Tchaikovsky
• What: Tupelo Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”
• When: 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center
• Tickets: $10 to $20
• Info: (662) 844-1928
• Extra: Reserved seating for evening show

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal