Pooch Performance

Youth Ballet To Feature Humane Society Dog In ‘Nutcracker’

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet and the Chautauqua County Humane Society have partnered to include an adopted Humane Society dog, Chloe, in the ballet company’s annual production of “The Nutcracker.” Pictured with Chloe, from left, are: Lillian Ingrao, CRYB dancer and CCHS volunteer; Monika Alch, CRYB artistic director; and Sarah Winton, CCHS volunteer and adopted parent of Chloe. P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti

For the first time in its decades-long downtown Jamestown tradition, a local ballet production will feature a former guest of the Chautauqua County Humane Society.

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet is partnering with the Humane Society to feature an adopted dog in its upcoming December production of “The Nutcracker,” which will be held at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Friday, Dec. 15, and Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

The production typically features a dog during the party scene. However CRYB Executive Director Elizabeth Bush said the ballet company wanted to try a different angle this year.

“We’ve been collaborating with the Humane Society this year to use one of their adopted dogs in the party scene,” she said. “They’re providing us with a dog that has already been adopted, and we hope that we can use this opportunity to help them out with further adoptions in the future.”

The dog in question is Chloe, a 4-year-old lab-Newfoundland mix who is a Chautauqua County Humane Society rescue. Chloe was dropped off at the Humane Society shelter as a nine-week-old puppy before being adopted by Humane Society volunteer Sarah Winton.

The collaboration came about in large part due to CRYB dancer Lillian Ingrao, who volunteers with the Humane Society after school. Lillian approached Sue Bobek, director of animal services at the Humane Society, who in turn asked Winton if she would be willing to lend Chloe to the production.

“Chloe is one of our success stories,” Winton said. “She has a lot of experience with dog training and she’s been a part of a lot of talks at schools and other places; so she should be pretty prepared for this.”

“We are so happy that the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet thought to incorporate the Chautauqua County Humane Society into this year’s performance of ‘The Nutcracker,'” said Brian Papalia, Humane Society community relations director. “It will be so great to see a dog who came through the shelter onstage with all of these happy children.”

Tickets to “The Nutcracker” are currently on sale ranging from $12 to $35, and can be purchased by calling the Reg Lenna box office at 484-7070 or online at reglenna.com.