Oakland Ballet Company is pleased to bring you: “Behind Graham Lustig’s ‘The Nutcracker’” as part of our “Behind Oakland Ballet” blog. Throughout December, we will be posting interviews with professional dancers, staff, volunteers, and superfans! Make sure to check out these fun, behind-the-scenes features and learn why Oakland Ballet Company is so loved by our community.
Peggy Peabody is the Artistic Director of Ballet Petit. Peggy has been involved with ballet for most of her life as a student, professional dancer and teacher. In 1983, she opened her first ballet school in Newark, CA. Over the years, Ballet Petit has grown into larger facilities and just recently moved into a gorgeous permanent space in Hayward, fulfilling one of Ms. Peabody’s life-long dreams. Peggy has been an avid supporter of Oakland Ballet for many years – we were thrilled to interview her and find out why OBC has a special place in Peggy’s heart.
I am the Artistic Director of Ballet Petit in Hayward. We have long been associated with OBC in a variety of ways. For the last several years, I have been happy to encourage our dancers at BP to perform with the Oakland Ballet in Graham Lustig’s Nutcracker. Last summer Ballet Petit hosted OBC’s Summer Intensive, Ballet Boot Camp. Originally I became involved with the Oakland Ballet when I was in college, many years ago. Having danced my entire life, I wanted to continue to be inspired by the presence of professional dancers.
Oakland is a very diverse community. One of the important needs of a diverse community is the preservation and development of all aspects of the community’s art and culture. The Oakland Ballet serves an important role in this way. The Oakland Ballet, itself a diverse organization, can provide Oakland’s citizens with a unique artistic perspective that can inspire its citizens and improve the quality of life for those who live here.
I love the Snow Scene. It is a favorite of mine in almost any production. Maybe it is the music, or maybe in this case it is because the first role my dancers did in OBC’s Nutcracker was the Snowballs. The young dancers were so excited and loved every minute of that wonderful experience.
What advice would you give young dancers?
Remember why you dance. You probably dance because you love it and it fills a special part of your life. Always remember that, and keep dancing.”
Have you seen improvement among your dancers in the Nutcracker? If so, in what way?
To see Peggy’s students in Graham Lustig’s “The Nutcracker”, get your tickets here.