Ventura County Ballet

From left: Jonah Tillery, Ella Ullrich, Noelle Hall, Carter Gillespie and Hailey Hall.

VCMC Pediatric Oncology Center

All photos courtesy Ventura County Ballet

Ventura County Ballet delighted the children, families and staff at Ventura County Medical Center’s Pediatric Oncology Clinic/Diagnostic Center with a special performance of beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker on Wednesday, Nov. 16. It’s never easy for kids to be sick and especially not at the holidays. The goal of this outreach performance was to bring joy to these families and some holiday magic that they might otherwise not be able to experience. Five pre-professional dancers performed selections from the party scene featured in Act I of the ballet. Featured dancers included Carter Gillespie (age 16, who danced the role of the soldier doll); Hailey Hall (15, Clara); Noelle Hall (12, Fritz); Jonah Tillery (15, harlequin); and Ella Ullrich (17, Columbine doll).

Following the performance, the children had the opportunity to meet the dancers, learn about their training and even feel what real ballet pointe shoes were like. All families received vouchers for free tickets to Ventura County Ballet’s full production of The Nutcracker, the company’s 24th, which starred Hanna Chudinova of the Kyiv Ballet in Ukraine and 70 other dancers enrobed in sumptuous costumes pirouetting across a beautifully decorated stage. Shows took place Dec. 3-11 at the Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center in Camarillo.

Jonah Tillery, Ella Ullrich and Noelle Hall.
Hanna Chudinova from Kyiv Ballet as Dream Clara.
Ella Ullrich (front) with Jonah Tillery and Hailey Hall (background).
Carter Gillespie, Noelle Hall and Jonah Tillery.
Hailey Hall with Ella Ullrich in the background.
Ballet dancer Hailey Hall with 9-year-old Kateryna Matviienko.
Jonah Tillery and Ella Ullrich.