Pages Navigation Menu

Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

Categories Navigation Menu

Festival Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker

Festival Ballet Theatre’s family-friendly breathtaking production features superb colorful scenery and dazzling costumes, which make this age-old tradition sparkle like new. Be swept away by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score as the Sugar Plum Fairy, our heroine Clara, and a cast of hundreds take you on a magical journey to mystical lands.

Nutcracker Event Image

This full-length traditional production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Salwa Rizkalla, and features world-renowned guest artists, FBT’s professional company dancers, and exceptional young talent from across the Southland.

Guests Artists Include:
Tara Ghassemieh Luiz, Festival Ballet Theatre
Vitor Luiz, Former San Francisco Ballet
Saturday, December 7 at 7pm
Sunday, December 8 at 1pm

Beckanne Sisk, Ballet West
Chase O’Connell, Ballet West
Friday, December 13 at 7pm
Saturday, December 14 at 2pm & 7pm
Sunday, December 15 at 1pm & 6pm

Maria Kochetkova, Former San Francisco Ballet
Vitor Luiz, Former San Francisco Ballet
Friday, December 20 at 7pm
Saturday, December 21 at 2pm & 7pm
Sunday, December 22 at 1pm

Tara Ghassemieh Luiz, Festival Ballet Theatre
Vitor Luiz, Former San Francisco Ballet
Sunday, December 22 at 6pm

Jeraldine Mendoza, Joffrey Ballet
Dylan Gutierrez, Joffrey Ballet
Monday, December 23 at 6pm
Tuesday, December 24 at 11am

*Guest artists may be subject to change

About Festival Ballet Theatre

Festival Ballet Theatre is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 by Salwa Rizkalla. Its mission is to enrich Orange County’s artistic and economic vitality, to inspire love and appreciation for dance, and to invigorate ballet by:
• Presenting a season of exhilarating classical and contemporary performances,
• Providing a nurturing environment for dancers and choreographers,
• Offering stimulating educational outreach programs.
For more information, visit

About Salwa Rizkalla
Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has served the Orange County community for over 30 years by presenting excellence in dance performance through Festival Ballet Theatre, and providing top-tier classical ballet training at Southland Ballet Academy.

During her professional dancing career, Ms. Rizkalla graced the stage in leading roles in well-known classical ballets as well as contemporary pieces. She had the privilege of working under the direction of world-renowned choreographers Leonid Lavrovsky and Serge Lifar. As a young dancer, Ms. Rizkalla trained in the Russian Vaganova method and studied with Russian ballet masters. As the culmination of her training, Ms. Rizkalla completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ballet Pedagogy. She established Southland Ballet Academy in 1983 and debuted Festival Ballet Theatre in 1988. In addition to teaching and directing, Ms. Rizkalla was a faculty member of several local area institutions.

Ms. Rizkalla’s contributions have been recognized by many local organizations. She was named Orange County Arts Educator of the Year Award for Secondary Dance (2003); Youth America Grand Prix awarded Ms. Rizkalla Outstanding Teacher accolades since its inception; and Arts Orange County also recognized Ms. Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska Lifetime Achievement Cultural Legacy Award (2014). Ms. Rizkalla was named one of OC’s 100 Most Influential in 2017 by the OC Register.

Ms. Rizkalla has been honored to impact the lives of hundreds of students and their families through her teaching. She is proud to be a dedicated educator, an energetic promoter of the arts, and an active participant in the cultural life of her community.


Beckanne Sisk and Chase O Connell as Sugar Plum and Cavalier

December 7th to 24th


Irvine Barclay Theatre
4242 Campus Dr
Irvine, CA 92612


Tickets are currently available online.


Maria Kochetokova and Vitor Luiz guest artists

Enter to win 2 tickets to The Nutcracker by leaving a comment below. Earn an extra entry by leaving a comment on our Facebook post, sharing our Facebook post or by tagging a friend in our Facebook post. We will pick one random winner on Friday, December 6th. Good Luck

Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Connect With Us


  1. This would be amazing, hope to win!

  2. We love going to the Nutcracker and try to go every year.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *