Young ballet dancers from the Woodbury Dance Center and community musicians of the East Metro Symphony Orchestra will collaborate for a holiday event at 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at Stillwater Junior High School.
The performance, titled "Visions of Sugarplums: A Collaboration of Dance and Music," will bring together almost 60 young dancers ranging in age from 6 to 18 to perform selections from Tchaikovsky's ballet, "The Nutcracker," alongside the live symphonic music of the East Metro orchestra.
The family-friendly program will open with holiday music presented by the orchestra and will conclude with an audience sing-along of traditional holiday tunes.
Tickets are sold at the door or available for pre-sale through Woodbury Dance Center at $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, $6 for senior groups of 10 or more, and youth 5 and under free. Stillwater Junior High School is located at 523 W. Marsh St.
For residents who have an eye for photography, Cottage Grove has announced its 11th annual Photo Contest.
The city encourages all residents to submit their favorite photographs. The six categories, all of which should focus on Cottage Grove, are parks and trails, people, city celebrations and events, streetscapes, historical, and black and white.
First prize in each category is $50. The winning photos will also be featured in the Cottage Grove annual report, in the city's newsletter, on the city website and in various other publications.
The deadline for submission is Dec. 28. Submission forms are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 651-458-2883.
The November and December show in the Stillwater Public Library gallery is Handmade Paper and the Artful Book, an exhibit by Cave Paper artists Bridget O'Malley and Amanda Degener.
Cave Paper is the winner of the 2012 Minnesota Book Award for book arts. O'Malley and Degener are co-proprietors of Cave Paper, a business that makes and sells handmade paper. Their high-quality papers are used in books held in public collections such as the Library of Congress, St. John's University and the Walker Art Center.
A range of books, broadsides, collages and both letterpress and relief prints are on display. The gallery is on the upper level of the library adjacent to the terrace. The Stillwater Public Library is at 224 Third St. N., Stillwater.
More information is available at www.stillwaterlibrary.org, or call 651-275-4338.Ballet director to step down after 22 years
This weekend's 22nd annual performance of "The Nutcracker" by the St. Croix Valley Ballet will be the final one for Karla Sweeney, the ballet's founder and longtime director, who has been battling breast cancer for the past 13 years.
In a letter to ballet supporters, Nancy Meyer, president of the ballet's board, announced Sweeney would be retiring at year's end. She will continue as a master teacher in the ballet's Stillwater studio.
Susan Hovey, who has taught at the school for six years and directed the ballet's spring show and summer gala, will take over as artistic director. "The St. Croix Ballet has planned for this day for many years," Meyer said. "We have already begun to put in place a solid plan that will ensure the long-term sustainability for this little jewel that has impacted so many lives in a positive way."
The final weekend performance will be at at 6 p.m. on Nov. 25 in Stillwater Area High School Auditorium. For more information, go to www.stcroixballet.com
Amateur astronomer Charlie Cowman will give an updated version of a talk on the star of Bethlehem first made famous by the late University of Minnesota astronomy professor Karlis Kaufmanis. The talk will be from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury, 1583 Radio Drive.
The presentation is free, and it is appropriate for families with older children. Weather permitting, telescopes will be available for viewing the night sky. For more information, contact the church office at 651-738-3110
JIM ANDERSON and KEVIN GILES