Boise’s Ben Griffiths opens PNB’s ‘Nutcracker’

Dancer Ben Griffiths opened Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Maurice Sendak-designed “Nutcracker” as the Nutcracker Prince on opening night Dec. 3.

Ben Griffiths in Pacific Northwest Ballet's performance of Balanchine's "Rubies."

Ben Griffiths in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s performance of Balanchine’s “Rubies.”

He has performed in the ballet before but this is his first time in this role, for which he won the opening night slot.

The Seattle Weekly reviewer Sandra Kurtz wrote:
“Benjamin Griffiths was deceptive as the Nutcracker Prince—his technique is so clear, both in the dancing and the mime, that we almost miss the virtuosic nature of his solos.”

He grew up in Boise and did most of his dance training with Ballet Idaho’s Lisa Moon, under artistic director Toni Pimble. Ben danced in his first “Nutcracker” at 10, performing the role of Fritz, Clara’s bratty little brother.

Ben Griffiths at 8.

Ben Griffiths at 8.

He keeps close ties to Idaho and returns often to teach at Eagle Performing Arts where Moon is the ballet mistress. You can see Griffiths perform the role of Cavalier in Idaho Regional Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” Dec. 20-21.

Ben, now 29, studied at the School of American Ballet in New York City on scholarship at 15 in 1999. He won a Princess Grace Award in 2003 while dancing with Boston Ballet,  joined PNB in 2005 and became a soloist in 2008.

Idaho Regional Ballet
“The Nutcracker”: 7 p.m. Dec. 20; and 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 21, Special Events Center, Boise State University. $25-$40 general, $18-$33 students and children. 338-4633.

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