This wonderful Danbury tradition features over 200 dancers, accompanied by the Danbury Symphony Orchestra who play Tchaikovsky’s score, live! 

In 2017 we celebrate 50 years of our beloved Nutcracker!

Photographer Sherryl Hauck has photographs of 2014 & 2015 Nutcracker available for purchase here:

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Advertise in our program or send a “shout out” to your favorite performer here

Artistic Staff





Arthur Fredric, Artistic Director, Choreographer, celebrates his 20th year with the Danbury Music Centre as Artistic Director for the Nutcracker Ballet. He is directing and choreographing with his wife of 27 years, Lisa Denton, for the 16th time. Arthur is also an award-winning teacher with the National Dance Institute and a former Broadway performer. Arthur is in his 20th year with NDI, the brainchild of the great Jacques d’Amboise and the gold standard in arts education in the United States and around the world. Mr. Fredric performed in the 1980 Broadway revival of West Side Story, touring in the role of Action, as directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. As a choreographer, he collaborated with jazz dance innovator Ronn Forella for 11 years, helping choreograph shows and movies for Liza Minnelli, Ann Reinking, Fred Ebb, Marc Shaiman, and Bill Murray (Stripes).  Arthur’s choreography was featured in Off Broadway shows for Liz Swados (The Red Sneaks at the Perry Street Theater), Carey Perloff (Swadosized at the Bottom Line), and Carol Hall (Ain’t Love Easy at St. Bart’s Playhouse).  He was Stunt Coordinator for the horror movie Mad Man Marz. He has taught jazz dance and stunt training/stage combat at Columbia University, Binghamton University, Western Connecticut State University, Manhattanville College, and at the University of Colorado. Arthur and Lisa have been collaborating with UC Boulder Associate Professor Beth Osnes for the past 2 years, contributing to her book, and directing and choreographing a theater piece as part of the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Initiative. This past summer they worked with 5 casts of Cirque du Soleil, including Michael Jackson ONE and The Beatles LOVE, conducting workshops in acting and dance in Las Vegas. Mr. Fredric owns a video production company which films theater and dance events, and is directing a documentary film about selected poets and a unique poetry conference. He lives in Connecticut with Lisa – the proud parents of three children, Will, Maya, and Dylan.


Lisa Denton

Co-Director/Choreographer and Costume Designer , is happy to be celebrating her 20th year working on the costumes and staging for the Danbury Music Centre Nutcracker. Lisa is a former gymnast and pursued ballet with the Westchester Ballet Company and ballet, modern and jazz at Denison University and UCLA. She also assisted Ronn Forella and trained with David Storey in NYC.  She was a principal dancer and costume designer for the New Dance Collective. As an actress, Lisa performed in movies (Back to School, Tonight’s the Night), on television (Riptide, A-Team, As the World Turns), in many commercials, and portrayed a ménage of character voices on radio for the Imus in the Morning program on WNBC. As part of the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Initiative, she assisted Arthur at a United Nations conference in NYC last October, and also taught workshops at the University of Colorado and in Las Vegas for Cirque du Soleil.  Lisa is on the Board of Directors of the Heart River Healing Center in New York, is an advisor to the Lightfield Foundation, and is in private practice as an intuitive counselor.


Ari Rudiakov 2014

  Ariel Rudiakov

Music Director and Conductor, Danbury Symphony Orchestra

Born in Indianapolis, IN and raised in Riverdale, NY, violist and conductor Ariel Rudiakov comes from a musical family going back three generations. He received his early musical training from his parents, Michael and Judith before attending pre-college at Manhattan School of Music.  Rudiakov has been Artistic Director of the award-winning Manchester (VT) Music Festival MMF since November 2000 and has been Music Director and conductor of the Danbury (CT) since 2005. He holds viola performance degrees from SUNY Purchase (BM) and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (MM), and was a scholarship student at Yale University’s masters program where he studied privately with Jessie Levine and chamber music with members of the Tokyo String Quartet.  In both capacities, Rudiakov enjoys a wide-ranging and diverse musical life, performing solo and chamber music to critical acclaim throughout the USA and abroad with many fine musicians including the Shanghai and Jupiter Quartets, current and former members of the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri quartets, pianists Ruth Laredo, David Deveau, Michael Brown, Andre Michel Schub, Adam Neiman, Vassily Primakov among many others. He has participated in solo and chamber music master classes with violinists Felix Galimir and Raphael Bronstein, violists Michael Tree and Csaba Erdely among other noted musicians.At the podium he has collaborated with violinists Jaime Laredo, cellists Sharon Robinson, Bernard Greenhouse, pianists David Deveau, Christopher O’Reilly and others. Additional resident and guest conducting positions have included the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Bergen and Yonkers Philarmonics, Antara Ensemble, Manchester Chamber Orchestra, Harlem Chamber Players and others. He is a former member of the New York Piano Quartet and Equinox String Quartet and was a founding member and president of SONYC (the String Orchestra of New York City). Ariel conducted recording sessions with Dance Theater of Harlem for their World Premiere production of Alexander Glazunov’s ballet Raymonda.Among his recordings are the complete string quartets by Camille Saint-Saens and the piano quintet by Vittorio Giannini (MSR Classics), which Fanfare Magazine described as “utterly superb”.  Composers Richard Lane, Philip Lasser and Coleridge Taylor Perkinson have dedicated works to Rudiakov, who is active in commissioning and recording new music. Recent commissions include a piano quintet by Stephen Dankner and Dance of the Marionettes for mixed ensemble by Sato Matsui. Ariel resides in Manchester, VT and Yonkers, NY with his wife, violinist Joana Genova and their two children; Michael Arthur and Liliana Judith. He playes a viola made by Geoffrey Ovington in 2000.