Moscow Ballet performance to include cameo appearance by Southeast MO State President Vargas

(Source: Moscow Ballet)
(Source: Moscow Ballet)
(Source: Southeast Missouri State University)
(Source: Southeast Missouri State University)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Moscow Ballet's celebrated Great Russian Nutcracker is returning to Southeast Missouri State University's Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on Thursday, Dec. 8, for one show at 7:30 p.m, and will also feature a special surprise.

The performance will include a cameo appearance by the university's president, Dr. Carlos Vargas. The cameo will continue a long-standing tradition in the Moscow Ballet of featuring prominent members of the community in which they are performing.

"His near-starring role takes place in the Party Scene, Act 1, when the guests from around Russia arrive: 'The Diplomat,' 'The General,' 'The Inspector,' and 'The Professor,' who will be portrayed by Vargas. Accompanied by two beautiful Russian ballerinas, one on each side, the president will parade around with dignity," said Robert Cerchio, assistant director of the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Cerchio said the tradition was started by Yale President and later Baseball Commissioner, the late Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, who once "performed" the role of Herr Drosselmeir, the toy maker in the Connecticut Ballet's Nutcracker.

The Great Russian Nutcracker will entertain the whole family with the exceptional dancing of the company, beautiful costumes by resident designer Arthur Oliver, and spectacular sets designed by multi-Academy Award nominee Carl Sprague and hand painted in Russia.

This year marks the Moscow Ballet's 24th consecutive year touring in North America. The company features both award-winning and rising star dancers, and performs more than 100 engagements annually across the United States and Canada.

Moscow Ballet is known for its dedication to world peace, and has named Act II of this year's Nutcracker performance "Land of Peace and Harmony," featuring a cannon that shoots roses and a two-person "Dove of Peace."

Tickets to the performance are now on sale and may be obtained by contacting the River Campus Box Office at 573-651-2265, by visiting the Box Office during office hours, or by visiting

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