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[10/20/11 - 11:15 AM]
Ovation's "Battle of the Nutcrackers" Programming Event to Feature the U.S. Television Premiere of Mariinsky Theatre's The Nutcracker on December 12
Nigel Lythgoe and Debbie Allen will introduce all of the productions and provide insight and commentary.

[via press release from Ovation]

OVATION'S "BATTLE OF THE NUTCRACKERS" PROGRAMMING EVENT TO FEATURE THE US TELEVISION PREMIERE OF MARIINSKY THEATRE'S THE NUTCRACKER ON DECEMBER 12

Hosted by Nigel Lythgoe and Debbie Allen, "Battle of the Nutcrackers" Includes a Full Week of Nutcracker Ballets from St. Petersburg, Berlin, London, and Moscow, Plus a Surprise Addition Airing Christmas Day

SANTA MONICA, CA - October 20, 2011 -- Ovation, the only multi-platform network celebrating all forms of artistic expression, is continuing its holiday tradition with the 5th annual "Battle of the Nutcrackers" programming event kicking off Monday, December 12. Co-hosted by Nigel Lythgoe, co-creator, executive producer and judge of "So You Think You Can Dance" and executive producer of "American Idol," and director/producer/choreographer/actress Debbie Allen, "Battle of the Nutcrackers" will include the US television premiere of Mariinsky Theatre's The Nutcracker, as well as diverse ballets from Moscow, Berlin and London.

Beginning the week of December 12, Ovation will feature a different production of the Nutcracker every night of the week and viewers will be invited to vote for their favorite rendition online at www.ovationtv.com. The Viewers' Choice will be revealed on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Christmas Day, December 25th, will bring a special surprise Nutcracker premiere, accompanied by an all-day marathon of the other productions.

Nigel Lythgoe and Debbie Allen will introduce all of the productions and provide insight and commentary about the ballet companies, the dancers and the tradition of the Nutcracker, as well as reveal the Viewers' Choice.

Program highlights of "The Battle of the Nutcrackers" include:

· The Nutcracker (Available in High Definition) - US Television Premiere: Monday, December 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. Presented from the historic opera and ballet house, the State Academic Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where The Nutcracker was first performed in 1892. This lively 2007 production with fanciful sets and costumes was helmed by avant-garde artist Mikhail Shemiakin and features Irina Golub and Leonid Sarafanov.

· Royal Opera House: The Nutcracker (Available in High Definition) -- Tuesday, December 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. The Royal Ballet, the resident ballet company of the Royal Opera House in London, was founded in 1931 and is an internationally renowned classical ballet company. In this very lush, traditional production, filmed in HD in 2009, the role of Clara is played by Iohna Loots and the Sugar Plum Fairy is played by Miyako Yoshida.

· The Nutcracker: Berlin State Opera Ballet -- Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. Patrice Bart's version of the classic Nutcracker tale is overflowing with dramatic twists and turns. The Berlin State Opera Ballet fills this production with vigor and graceful dance movements.

· Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker-- Thursday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. This beautiful, classic presentation of The Nutcracker comes to life through the sophisticated choreography of Yuri Grigorovich, who has danced and choreographed with the Bolshoi for decades. Natalya Arkhipov stars as Clara, and Aleksandr Kopilov conducts The Bolshoi Theater Orchestra in this elegant take on the traditional tale.

· Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! - Friday, December 16, 8 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. This delicious contemporary production is full of pathos and theatrical magic. From a hilariously bleak Christmas Eve at Dr. Dross' Orphanage, to the spectacular candy folk of Sweetieland, Clara's journey passes through Oliver Twist, the Ice Capades and the kaleidoscopic fantasy of Busby Berkeley musicals.

On November 1, viewers can get a sneak peek of "Battle of the Nutcrackers" when three of the productions will be made available on Video on Demand: featured in Comcast XFINITY's Top Picks and on DIRECTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, Insight and GCI.

The Nutcracker began as a story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, written in 1816 by E. T. A. Hoffmann in which young Clara Stahlbaum's favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls. In 1892, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov turned the story's adapted version into the ballet The Nutcracker, and is today, one of the most popular ballets in the world.

About Ovation:

Ovation is the only multi-platform network celebrating all forms of artistic expression. Its programming tells the stories of artists, their work, and the powerful impact art has on each of us. Ovation programming is a one-of-a-kind mix of original and selectively curated documentaries, series, films and specials. The network reaches a national audience of 44 million homes and is available on cable systems across the country, as well as nationally on DIRECTV, Dish and Verizon FiOS. Ovation is also available in HD and VOD (both in standard and high definition). Ovation extends its linear channel experience for viewers online via its popular website, www.ovationtv.com. In addition to offering contests, trivia, facts and supplemental video online, the network has created an award-winning online community (www.ovationtv.com/community) for everyone from passionate artists to the curious. To date, over 180,000 pieces of original art have been uploaded to the site by members.





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