Ballet Theatre of Scranton’s “The Nutcracker” to Air on FOX 56

Ballet Theatre of Scranton will present its 45th annual performance of The Nutcracker under the artistic direction of Joanne Arduino and featuring Celia Eagen of Dunmore (shown in photo) as Clara on Dec. 23-26. FOX 56 will air the production on its stations WOLF, WSWB and WQMY. Check local listings for air times.

The beloved ballet was also recently presented at the Circle Drive-In.

For additional information, phone Ballet Theatre of Scranton at 570-347-2867 or at the web at http://www.balletscranton.org.

Dunmorean of the Month: Joanne Arduino

Dunmorean of the Month - Joanne ArduinoBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore’s Joanne Arduino, artistic director of Ballet Theatre of Scranton/The Dance Studio, is busy these days preparing for the company’s full-length ballet of Cinderella scheduled Saturday, May 4, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., in the Theatre at North, Scranton.

“I chose Cinderella because I try to select ballets that are versatile,” Joanne says.

“One year I will do a comedic ballet, another year a dramatic one, maybe another year a fairy tale, and then a contemporary one.”

Joanne, born and raised in Dunmore, has taught dance in Scranton for 40 years.

The 1975 Dunmore High School graduate began training under the late Constance Reynolds and was awarded a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts.

She earned elementary and intermediate certificates at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England. She completed advanced studies with the Royal Academy in Toronto, Canada.

She has studied and collaborated with many well known choreographers and teachers and was selected by Gus Giordano to represent Pennsylvania as a jazz ambassador at the Jazz Dance World Congress.

Dunmorean of the Month - Arduino and Danton

Joanne Arduino is shown in London with world-famous choreographer Henry Danton, at left, and Sir Peter Wright.

During a recent visit to London, she visited world famous choreographer Henry Danton, now 100.

“He was a mentor and so valuable to me,” Joanne explains. “ It was such a privilege to study with him. He is such a gentleman, very humble.

“At age 100, he is in remarkable health. At 100, he still teaches. He comes to town every year and teaches with us. He will be here in August.”

Arduino has been Artistic Director of the Ballet Theatre since 1991. She took the position following the retirement of Constance Reynolds, her former mentor, who and founded Ballet Theatre in 1958.

“This is the third time we are presenting Cinderella,” she said. “Henry Danton staged it the first time in 1994. I re-staged it the second time in 2011. So this is now the third time the ballet is being presented.”

Arduino recently attended Danton’s 100th birthday celebration in London.

“It was quite the event! There were a lot of famous people there from the Royal Ballet. Some of the biggest stars of  tge ballet were there. He was even interviewed by the BBC in London.”

Sir Peter Wright, Dame Monica Mason and Dame Beryl Grey were among the British dignitaries of ballet in attendance.

Arduino is the Performing Arts Director for Arts Alive which provides scholarships to local youth. She is on the faculty of Hospice of the Sacred Heart for Camp Healing Hearts.

Married to Paul Arduino, the couple has one son Eric, 16, who is a sophomore soccer player at Dunmore High School. Eric is on a rehab stint recovering from a meniscus ACL tear. He will play soccer at Dunmore next year as a junior.

In the meantime, Joanne is busy getting ready for four upcoming summer performances.

The Joanne Arduino Dance Studio is located at 310 Penn Ave., Scranton. It has been in operation since 1978.

Ballet Theatre of Scranton to Present “Cinderella”

cinderella dunmore

Among the Dunmore residents appearing in Ballet Theatre of Scranton’s production of Cinderella are on floor: Michael Brown. Standing, from left: Celia Eagen and Mary Katherine Connor. Artistic Director Joanne Arduino is also a Dunmore resident.

Ballet Theatre of Scranton senior company will present the classic spell-binding fairytale, “Cinderella,”on Saturday, May 4, at 20 and 7:30 p.m. at the Theater at North.

Preprare to be enchanted as Artistic Director Joanne Arduino and her company present this full length rags-to-riches story ballet .  

Leading the cast of over 50 regional dancers are Selena Knowlton as Cinderella and Jose Hurtado as the Prince.  

Both dancers are students at The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.

Ms. Knowlton is a high school senior and trained at and is a member of Ballet Theatre of Scranton.  

Elizabeth Conway , a BTOS alumna, will dance the role of the Fairy Godmother.

The technical staff includes Emmy award winning lighting designer and Scranton native, Dennis M. Size.

cinderella fairies

Dunmoreans appearing in “Cinderella” include at center back Elizabeth Conway and at bottom right is Celia Eagen. Also pictured are Lucy Doherty, Lily Pavuk and Abigail Davis.

The production is based on the Bolshoi ballet production and was originally staged by internationally-known master, Henry Danton in 1994 for BTOS, when Karen Keeler starred as Cinderella.  

Ms. Keeler is currently the Creative Director for The Rockettes in New York City.

In 2011, Mrs. Arduino restaged the production and will do so again this year, with a new generation of dancers.

Complete with beautiful scenery and costumes and a life-size pumpkin coach, the production is sure to be magical for young and old alike!

For tickets or other information about the show, please visit www.tututix.com or call 570-342-2867.